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Caya review

Words by Nathan Irvine

Out of town

There’s a very good reason to drive out of the city right now. Caya, located in the heart of the Town Square community in Al Reem, is a delightful restaurant serving up quality Mediterranean fare. The bright and airy venue has a welcoming feel to it, and the outdoor terrace area is the perfect spot to while away the evening under the stars.

It’s already a popular breakfast spot for residents in the area, but the new winter menu is a good enough excuse to head out to the sticks, which is what we went out to try.

Right off the bat, we’ll say that the kuku is reason enough to visit Caya. This is a fried chicken fillet that combines tender meat with a well-seasoned crispy batter that provides a satisfying crunch with every bite. It is the best fried chicken we’ve ever had in Dubai – quite possibly the world. It’s an absolute delight and an amazing way to start off our evening.


The Fondue for Two – a 48-hour proofed sourdough in the shape of a pizza base and topped with melted pecorino and parmesan cheese – is a comfort food delight. In a twist on traditional fondue, you can tear off the sourdough and then dip it into the gooey treat. It’s incredibly moreish – especially for cheese lovers.

We could quite happily have left satisfied after these two starters, but then this review would’ve been fairly short… and pointless. So on we go.

For mains we choose the Make It Pink (read: pasta) and the beef brisket. The former is angel hair spaghetti served with a tomato sauce and (more) parmesan fondue. When mixed together it’s a very tasty dish with flavours that complement, rather than jockey for position on your palate.

The slow-cooked beef brisket, which comes with a spiced Asian sauce and pickled apples is a mixed bag. On the one hand, it tastes excellent and melts away on your tongue. However, brisket is a notoriously fatty cut of beef and this was no different, which meant there was lots left on the plate when we’d had our fill.

To polish off the meal we were served the Donut Torrija. It’s a doughnut with a crispy shell that’s filled with vanilla custard, cheese and honey that mixes sweet and savoury flavours expertly. It’s a great finish to an eclectic line-up of food. Caya is definitely worth the journey out towards the desert.

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