90s Dubai was definitely worlds apart from what Dubai has accomplished in a hand full of years. When it comes down to food, we weren’t so lucky in the 90s with international franchise to serve up various cuisines such as IHOP, IKEA, More Café etc.
Instead, we were merely satisfied with cafeterias and localized restaurants which plated up delicious yet limited breakfast options which were not in a slightest similarity to the current gourmet breakfast or food options available, of which we are lately accustomed to in Dubai. The 90s served up more of a home-cooked meals which encompassed childhood memories by those who crossed the ocean to start a new life in good old Dubai
A very few of these restaurants or bakeries remain in Dubai, mainly due to high competition when it comes down to food, and standards in both hygiene and spending power which has increased in the past few years. Thus, shunning away these eateries which were part of the growing up experience in Dubai which blessed us with delightful eats.
I remember breakfast being one of the many reasons that I loved growing up in Dubai.
Waking up in the morning, I used to look forward to having breakfast either delivered to our door step, walk towards the closest outlet of choice, or we’d drive from emirate to emirate usually over the weekend to the nearest bakeries or cafeteria which served up meals from timeless classics such as, kheema & parotta to an omelet mixed with herbs and spices, to a delicious cheese manakeesh which oozed out stringy-ness enjoyed by all ages.
A few may still indulge in these old yet gold breakfast options which are a filling meal and much more lighter on the pockets. If you’re lucky, you may stumble across these Dubai breakfast treasures on a drive or walk down old Dubai but until then here are a few options, that although may not all be your typical 90s breakfast but close to what the heart still craves:
In Karama & Qusais – Dubai, Venus a pure vegetarian restaurant serves up delicious South Indian breakfast. Try the Mini Tiffin as it gives a taste of most-of-the breakfast options in one dish. Another favorite would be “Buns” – specifically “Mangalore Buns” which are a mildly sweet bun with ripe bananas blended into the dough to be eaten with spicy chutney for breakfast or plain.
Nicolette Eustace @NicolettEustace 90s breakfast included, Venus, Arab Udpi, Pumpys, Ginnys, Yahala and Golden Fork.
Confectioneries such a Pumpy’s and Ceasers offer classics such as the most loved Mini Pizza and the introduction of Puffs which were an instant love at first taste to many in Dubai. Ceasers, is located all across U.A.E while Pumpy’s is located in Al Mankhool, Bur Dubai.
Thanzeem @ThanzeemKR says, the junky child I grew up as, it was Pumpy’s AED1 mini-pizza <3 sigh good ol’days.
Another 90s staple and a favorite, mainly amongst the Indians and Pakistanis: Kheema & Parotta. A spiced minced meat dish accompanied with peas and eaten with parotta, a layered flat bread which compliments the dish. Personally, I never had a taste for Kheema, so while my family indulged in a rich breakfast, I’d roll up my parotta with sugary goodness – honey and enjoy a light breakfast. The dish can be found in most cafeterias across U.A.E.
The most adored across Dubai till present is the Manakeeh (Manakish), a flat bread with various toppings, such as cheese, zaatar, minced meat etc. A filling 90s breakfast and a good kick start to a long day ahead.
Daniel @danielmarcevans old school Dubai brekkie favorite was always Lebanese Bakery by Safa Park for mannakish before school!
For everyone in Sharjah, Hotbreads is a hidden treasure which offers various fresh baked breads stuffed with all sorts of treats you can imagine, from sausages – cheese – mushrooms and lots more. The Mini Hotdogs Rolls were always a personal favorite. Another Sharjah landmark breakfast location would be The Gold Loaf Bakery on Al Wahada St. This institutional bakery of the 90s used to drive herds of crowd for fresh baked breads and pastries which were always a delight. The golden buns a.ka pav breads are to die for and a must try. The bakery still stands after years but the crowds have eased with the increase of groceries and hypermarkets.
If you ever crave for a breakfast which is out of the norm, try the options mentioned which are bound to shed a light into the 90s Dubai life and as always do share you own breakfast delights!