Karachi Darbar

Price guide: Budget

Karama, Dubai

Price guide: Budget

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By Alex Ritman, your Dubai expert

I write for Dorling Kindersley, .... Read more
#35 of 40
expert-rated restaurants in Dubai
Expert overall rating:3.8 out of 5
Food and drink:
3.7
3.7
Ambience:
3.6
3.6
Service:
3.9
3.9
Location:
3.8
3.8
Value for money:
4.6
4.6
Recommended for:
Backpackers / Students, Shopping

Expert review of Karachi Darbar

In the heart of Dubai's fake goods and cheap souvenir district, this is a long-time favourite.

If you've got more than a few days in Dubai and enjoy a good haggle, there's a high chance that at some point you'll find yourself in Karama, generally regarded as THE spot for fake watches and handbags (which we absolutely do not condone in any way). This scruffy market area looks a world away from the usual glitz of Dubai and is home to many a tatty cafe and cheapo restaurant. Cream of the crop is definitely Karachi Darbar, a long-serving favourite dishing up cheap-as-chips Pakistani and Indian dishes to all and sundry. After a hard few hours quibbling over the price of a Adibok t-shirt or genuine fake Rolex, this is the perfect place to recharge batteries. 

Food and drink: 

Indian and Pakistani food that arrives quick, cheap and is (usually) excellent. There are probably a few dishes on the menu you might want to avoid (I think there's a 'brain' on there somewhere), but the classics are all great. Sadly, it's unlicensed, although this would push the prices up considerably. 

Recommended dishes: 

I particularly like the chicken kadai, a rather fiery Pakistani speciality fried in a special pot with onions and tomatoes. 

Ambience: 

Extremely informal, as suggested by the plastic chairs and tables. It's popular with Asian expats - many of whom live in the area - plus Western expats who like a good, cheap curry. This might not be the spot to take a date, unless you're trying to suggest that you're someone of international tastes. Or you're skint. 

Service: 

While not served with the same panache or cheery grin you get Dubai's high-end eateries, the food does come quickly. And when you're hungry, that's all that matters. 

Location: 

Karachi Darbar sits in the heart of the Karama market, just over the road from the stalls selling fake bags and watches. If you're lost, most people in the area will know where it is.  

Price advice: 

This is where Karachi Darbar wins. Most mains cost around 10-18 dirhams. It's so cheap that you can way over do it on the ordering (as often happens) and still find that a meal for three of you has come to 60 dirhams.  

Other useful branches: 

There are several other branches across Dubai, the most well-placed being in Satwa, Bur Dubai and Deira. Check the website for details.  

More information on Karachi Darbar:

Price guide:
Budget
Type:
Restaurant
Food:
Asian, Indian
Address:
Karama, Dubai
Telephone:
04 334 7272
Website:
http://www.karachidarbargroup.com
Serves:
Lunch, Dinner
Opening times:
Open daily 4am-1am.
Accepts Credit Cards:
No
Reservations:
Not possible

Have you been to Karachi Darbar? Would you recommended it?