Filipino Restaurants We Love in the UAE

With almost a million Filipinos living in the UAE, it is not a surprise to have so many Filipino restaurants catering to Filipino tastes in the country. Whichever Emirate you live in, there is always a Filipino restaurant that you can run into when you don't feel like cooking or just having a craving.

We haven't been to every one of them yet but we've been to many. I know that we all have different tastes in food. What's good for you might not be good for me and vice versa. But my family and I aren't hard to please. We do love good Filipino food and the more authentic it gets, the better. There are those that make the mark and there are those for some reason, we don't think we will ever visit again. And just like you, we also have our fair share of favorite Filipino restaurants, mainly in Dubai where we work, and in Sharjah where we live. It is really hard to pick the best because each one has a distinct charm so I'll just share them in random order.

Filipino Restaurants We Love in Dubai

1. Max's Restaurant

Max's is our first restaurant choice whenever we crave homestyle fried chicken and delicious Filipino food. It is a good place to celebrate special occasions because you know you can never go wrong with Max's Fried Chicken, they have great-tasting foods here, always a hit.
Max's Restaurant began operations in the Philippines in 1945. Its success now boasts 170 branches all over the Philippines and internationally with 5 branches in UAE (2 in Dubai, 1 in Al Ain, and 2 in Abu Dhabi.)

Some of our favorites are Max's home-style fried chicken, crab meat fried rice, kare-kare, prawn in alegue, sizzling tofu, inihaw na pusit, and beef sisig. For dessert, we always order their Max's dessert sampler with buko pandan, ube creme decadence, Leche flan, and cream cheese brownie. Ube roll is our favorite Max's cake.

2. Jollibee

Who doesn't remember the epic queuing when Jollibee opened in Dubai Mall? Due to its success, now the company is aggressively expanding, with a target to open 32 stores in UAE by 2020.
Jollibee food is Filipino ULTIMATE comfort food. Do I need to say more? By the way, when are we going to have palabok here in Dubai?

3. Chowking

Before the boom of Pinoy-themed restos whether homegrown or not, Chowking is already the King of Filipino food in Dubai. They are the pioneer of the Asian quick service restaurant concept in the Philippines. Its first branch opened in Dubai in 1998 and now has 13 branches around the city.
The dishes we love and order most of the time include Lauriat meals, siopao and siomai, halo-halo, chao fan, and a lot more. Before Jollibee came to Dubai, Chowking's Asian-style fried chicken was our fried chicken fix and we still have it when we eat at Chowking. What's funny is why I couldn't find any photos of my Chowking meals. I probably didn't care to shoot, I just ate.
My personal favorite meal and the first I tried when they open the branch in BurJuman was their Smoked Golden Tinapa. It is included in their breakfast meal but available throughout the day. Their fried chicken has a unique taste, it has a hint of wild lime known to us as calamansi. This made the dish distinctly Pinoy. Other than the pancakes and waffles that they are famous for, they have a wide variety of dishes that we still want to try.

5. Shakey's Pizza

Shakey's chicken 'n mojos and thin-crust pizzas are delicious. We were invited to the grand opening of their first branch in Dubai but were not completely satisfied with the experience. Having dined at Shakey's in the Philippines many times before with happy memories I must say, we have no doubt that it was just due to an overwhelming number of guests during the event. As promised, we went back with the kids, ordered up a storm, and went home happy and sated. The kids didn't go home without ringing the bell to show their satisfaction of course.

6. Gerry's Grill

I haven't been to Gerry's Grill in a while but I would love to dine there again. Gerry's Grill offers Filipino and Asian specialties served in a family-friendly setting with occasional live music performances. I'm currently craving their grilled dishes. Inihaw na pusit and inihaw na manok, seafood rice, crispy tadyang ng baka (beef ribs) and leche flan. My mouth waters just by thinking about it.

7. Tagpuan, Sharjah

Tagpuan is a special place for me and Ferald. It is where Ferald and I used to have dinner after church mass every Friday when we were still dating back to 2003. Even now, we still frequent this restaurant with our kids. Our favorites are Special Pancit and Sizzling Bulalo Steak. We also frequent their Al Wahda branch for turo-turo viands.

8. Lamesa - Asiana Hotel 

Lamesa Restaurant is Asiana Hotel's all-day dining restaurant. It offers an amazing Asian dining experience with a warm and cozy ambiance. They have a lavish spread of Filipino dishes as well as  Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and Thai. It is a great place to dine with family and friends. It is also where you will find amazing Filipino pork dishes. Yes, they serve pork here. In fact, one whole section is dedicated to pork dishes alone. The pork section has sisig, Lechon kawali, crispy pata, pork humba, pork barbecue, dinuguan, and sinigang. The buffet is priced reasonably and you'll definitely get value for your money.

9. Little Manila

Little Manila is a one-stop shop for all our favorite food. Zagu, Binalot, Jay-J's Inasal, Bread Shop and House of Lechon Manok to name a few. We love their sizzling deals and boodle fights too.

10. Carinderia ni Tandang Sora

We've only eaten at Carinderia ni Tandang Sora twice but their food is family-approved. Definitely one of those restaurants I will visit on a whim. Their boodle fight plates are highly recommended.

11. Pampangenos

This restaurant belongs to Salt n Pepper restaurant group. It is located on the 2nd Floor of Madina Mall in Muhaisna. We always pass by this road on our way home so the location is very convenient for us. We discovered this gem of a restaurant by accident and since then, we became regular. We even ask them to cater for us twice, for the kid's birthday parties. They have a buffet every weekend starting Thursday.

12. Pizza Pizza

We come here mostly for Loming Batangas instead of pizza.

They have the tastiest and most authentic Batangas lomi in Sharjah. The best thing, is they are open until 3 am daily. They also serve other Filipino dishes like tapsilog and sweet and sour prawns, my kids order these dishes most of the time if they are not craving pizza. We usually order the Jumbo Lomi which is good for two, served with pandesal and iced tea.

13. Pita Restaurant

I only go to Pita for their Pinoy-style cheesecake priced at AED 100/cake. It is something I can highly recommend. To be honest, we haven't given their food a second try since our first but I saw them renovate the place so maybe it is time we should.

14. Mang Aryeseos Bulaluhan in RAK

When you are in Ras Al Khaimah and are looking for a good Filipino restaurant, make your way to Mang Aryeseos Bulaluhan. Highly recommended. The food here is delicious. The staffs are friendly and the place is clean and tidy. The walls were adorned by the owner's sporty adventures in the city. The bulalo we ordered was nice and warm, with soft juicy, and tender meat,  the bbq chicken and bbq chicken liver were just like Pinas. It gets packed at lunchtime so make sure to come in early.

There you go! These are some of the Filipino restaurants that is MYB approved.

Happy eating! We will update you when we have new finds.

*This post is not paid nor sponsored

My Yellow Bells

Carla is a lifestyle blogger based in Dubai who's thankful to call this ever-evolving city her second home. The pages of this blog are filled with stories about her expat life in the sandpit. It features dining and travel adventures in and around the city and beyond. It also features food recipes, parenting tips, and fashion style.

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