Mahesh Lunch Home – Seafood Paradise in Bur Dubai


Thursday night – it had been a long week, and the weekend was here.  The Boss, B, says, “We are going to try a new seafood place in Bur Dubai!”  She swears I do something called an “inside eye roll” when I find her plans suspect (I don’t, for the record) – my friends, there was nothing as subtle as an “inside eye roll” when I heard this suggestion – it was an all out OUTSIDE EYE ROLL.  All I wanted was to curl up, in bed, watch the latex episode of Game of Thrones, order in a nice Doner sandwich and be asleep by 10pm.   The Boss always tells me that she is never wrong, and I should blindly follow her lead – a part of me wants to say no, but its hard to argue when its the Gospel truth.  So, Bur Dubai, here we come.

Mahesh Lunch Home Seafood Restaurant – now THAT’s a name.  Head towards Bur Juman Mall in Bur Dubai – this is across the street from it.  If you know where the original purveyor of Korean Fried Chicken goodness is (Kimchicken, AKA Bon Chon), this is right next door to it – in like with the Park Regent Kris Krin hotel (long names seem to be a neighbourhood thing.)  An average looking storefront – you walk into a holding area, which is tiny and holds a tank for live mud crabs, topped by a tank for live lobster………and a lectern like desk with a hostess behind it.  On my right, a small door leading to the dining room.  Kinda felt like I owed the hostess a password so I could be let into the back room of a China Town restaurant for the nightly, dodgy, game of chance.  My mind works in strange ways when I am sleepy – it had been a long week, remember?

Ok, so we get to our table.  Lots of families – lots of chatter – lots of smiles and general all-round feeling of mirth – a good vibe that usually preempts a solid dining experience.  A little background – I read on the website today, “Established in 1977 the restaurant has completed its Silver Jubliee i.e 25 years of serving its guest. The restaurant was started by Mr. S.C. Karkera.  The first Manglorean cuisine restaurant in Mumbai serves home-style food which tempts its guest to come here again and again. Mr. Karkerra himself have his lunch and dinner in the restaurant.”  Nice – a little provenance – a little history – a little pedigree.  Should be interesting.  The menu is extensive – primarily seafood based (as the name would suggest), with a few chicken and vegetarian options.  We stick to seafood, primarily.  There are 4 of us, but, as usual, order for 8.  Before I go any further, let me just say this.  If you like seafood, you MUST immediately make a reservation at Mahesh.  The service is excellent.  The atmosphere is casual and loud.  The food is OUTSTANDING.  Skip the appetisers and go for the crab and lobster.  The daal makhani was very respectable as well.

We get (apologies in advance for the quality of the pictures – technical issues with the IPhone):


Bombay Duck Fry

Crab Tandoori

Crab Butter Pepper Garlic

Prawns Koliwada

Prawns Tandoori

Pomfret Masala Fry

Lobster Green Chilli (or something like that)

Bombay Duck Fry (Bombil Fry):  To those unfamiliar to Bombay Duck (its really not a duck), it is the local name for a lizard fish.   The etymology of the term Bombay Duck is fascinating – if you get a chance, take a look at   I’ve heard of my mother rave about this dish (she was born in Bombay), but I had never tried it – when I saw it on the menu, I had to.   Very well prepared, but the taste didn’t jump out – a little bit oily, in my opinion.  I didn’t notice a defined flavour or aroma – just a well fried fillet o’ fish.  Not bad, but not a stand out.



Tandoori Prawns:  The prawns, albeit small, were very well cooked.  The chef knows his way around prawn, for sure, because the the prawn was cooked for just the right amount of time, avoiding the usual rubbery prawn that is served in South Asian restaurants, and the tandoori marinade added a slight heat, which one would expect.  I would have loved to have seen an option for a larger prawn on the menu – of course at a different price point – because I loved the marinade and the preparation.  I would have liked to see that paired with a more meaty, substantial prawn.   I think the combination would be dynamite.


Prawns Koliwada – Tasty small shrimp (pardon my interchanging use of the words shrimp and prawn), coated in spiced besan (gram/chickpea flour) batter, and flash fried.  Again, very well cooked, and a prefect little crispy snack to start of the meal with.  Unlike the Tandoori Shrimp, I didn’t find myself yearning for a larger piece of protein.  There were a nice size – perfect little poppers that bursted with texture and flavour in your mouth.


Tandoori Crab – The reason why we came to Mahesh – the crab.  We were told be a friend, that we had to order the tandoori crab and the butter pepper garlic crab at Mahesh.  This friend, HK, had been eating at the Mumbai branches of Mahesh for years, and was waiting for the Dubai branch to open – needless to say, he requires no menu when ordering.  The thing I liked about Mahesh was that there was no surprise when it came to pricing the crab and lobster.  The waiters bought out a selection of crab and lobster (live) and each showed a clearly marked price – the customer is free to choose exactly which one they want.  We picked 2 healthy sized mud crabs and a pretty giant lobster.  Crab 1 arrived – Tandoori.  AMAZING!.  The smokey fragrance it was infused with was intoxicating.  It wasn’t overly spiced, but had a little something on it that just lingered on your palate but didn’t bring enough heat to result in the delicate, sweet flavour of the delicious crab meat being lost.  The fragrance of the smoke from the tandoor permeated each bite.  This is truly one of the tastiest things I have tasted in a very long time.  Highly recommend this one.



Crab Butter Pepper Garlic – I loved the Tandoori Crab, and thought nothing could beat that.  This puppy came close – like within a hair’s distance from eating it.  It is DELICIOUS.  Not spicy at all, but as you can see from the picture below, LOADED with garlic – which I adore.  The garlic is cooked in the butter and pepper so its crispy (make sure you ask your waiter to spoon a mound of the “masala”, the garlic, onto your plate to accompany the crab.  Again, the crab was cooked beautifully and the crispy garlic was magnificent.  Highly recommend this one too.


Lobster Green Chilli – Again, delicious.  If I were to go back, I don’t think I would order this style of preparation again, however  Though it was lovely, I kept thinking through this course that had it been cooked in the Tandoor over, like crab #1, the result would have been glorious.  Tandoori Lobster.  This version had chopped up chunks of lobster in a tomato and chili paste.  Lobster was tender and the sauce was pretty good.  To sponge and scoop up various sauces we had ordered two different kinds of break – of course, the naan and something called Appam, which was entirely new to me.  Appam (pic 2 – not from the restaurant, but taken from the Internet) is a crepe like concoction, originating from South India, made from fermented rice batter and coconut milk.  Whats not to like, eh?  If you have ever had a masala dosa, its similar to the dosa component of that.  Very nice addition to the meal and perfect for the sauces and the daal.



Pomfret Masala Fry – I was expecting a very spicy dish, but what came out was fairly mild.  Slices of pomfret in a tangy tomato sauce. It was a nice – the sauce was rich and complex, and the fish just tasted fresh.  I love pomfret, and this was cooked so the meat was juicy and fall off the bond tender.  The Appam was perfect to scoop up the accompanying sauce, which was not runny, but thick.  If I were to order this again, however, I think I would ask for the sauce to be made with more punch – some more heat.  But all in all, a well balanced dish.


Hats off to HK for this amazing recommendation.  I see Mahesh Lunch House Seafood Restaurant definitely joining the ranks of my Go To restaurants in Dubai.  While sitting at the table, The Boss and I thought of at least 6 out of towers we just HAD to bring here for the crab.  Its a great place for a quiet, relaxed, casual dinner – no fuss and no pretense.  Excellent and quick service, outstanding food, weighty menu (which leaves me wanting to try new and exciting dishes on my next visit) and relaxed vibe.  Definitely going back.  Standout dishes – Tandoori Crab, Butter Pepper Garlic Crab, Tandoori Prawns and Appam.   Those will be staples going forward – rest, I look forward to trying.

Till Next Time.


Sea World Seafood Restaurant – New Location, Same Great Experience

Sea World Seafood Restaurant - Dubai

Sea World Seafood Restaurant – Dubai


When I first came to Dubai in 2008, for an interview, over the May 24 long weekend in Canada, my Brother and Sister in Law took my to the old Sea World Seafood restaurant, in my tremendously jet lagged state (Toronto-Las Vegas-Toronto-Dubai-Toronto…….in 5 days).  It was located above the Safestway Supermarket, on Sh. Zayed Road, and I remember falling in love with the food.  Iced trays loaded with fresh, regionally sourced fish and shell fish, a long list of different cooking styles/sauces, and your imagination to put various combinations together, to take you to seafood nirvana.  Pick what you want, how you want it cooked, and wait for it to come to you.

When my wife, son and I made the permanent move here, later that year, this was one of our favourite places to head to on the weekends – firstly, my wife loves shellfish (not so crazy about fish, however), and secondly, we didn’t have any help, so the fact that this restaurant was extremely kid friendly, and had lots of open place where my 18 month old could wander around and explore, made it an obvious choice for ourselves, and for when we had to entertain.  About a year (maybe a little longer) ago, we saw that the famous neon red lobster, that identified this landmark, switched off, and the restaurant made the move further down the road, to a smaller location.   We didn’t give the new venue a try, until this past week – it was like a sweet homecoming!  The location is more compact, but I think this makes it feel more like a restaurant, and less like an auditorium.  The staff was still attentive, quick, and friendly…….and the food was still delicious.  I don’t think we are going to be waiting a year to visit Sea World again.

So, we get to the restaurant and head straight for the seafood display – the old restaurant had the displayed set up in a giant circle – with live fish tanks in the centre – the new location, accounting for more limited real estate, has a long line of counters, ice, and seafood.  A couple of tanks were in the back, with fresh hamour, lobster and mud Crabs.  The iced display had, from what I can recall – hamour, red snapper, kingfish, jumbo shrimp, calamari, crab (the small ones – not the king/snow crab), baby shark, barracuda, mussels, ladyfingers, Omani lobster…..and many more, which I can’t, for the life of me, recall.  The cooking styles/sauces available were printed out and laminated, and placed along the counter – also, the lady assisting us by pushing a tiny, shopping trolley, and loading it up with the ingredients we selected, was very helpful in recommending what cooking styles would suit which particular ingredient best.  At the end of the counter there was a small section with vegetables, that could be cooked either with Oyster Sauce or with Hot Chilli Lemon Sauce.

We had:

  1. Ladyfingers – Deep fried in a light crispy batter
  2. Calamari – Deep fried with a spicy, salty, slightly salt salsa made of scallions and garlic
  3. Crab in Chef’s special sauce
  4. Steamed Sherri in a spicy lemon sauce
  5. King Prawns – shelled, cooked Thermidor style
  6. Stir fried Morning Glory in spicy oil
  7. Mixed mushrooms in oyster sauce
  8. Vegetable Fried Rice

Fried Ladyfinger


Ladyfingers – Deep Fried in a Light, Crispy Batter – Seriously, you have to try these.  Ladyfingers ( I have heard them called other names also…..lets just go with ladyfingers) are a small fish, with bones running down the center, which makes them very easy to debone and eat.  These arrived hot and crispy – you tear the meat off, and its light and flaky – very mild flavour.  You can dunk it in the sweet chilli sauce that the restaurant provides, but ask for the spicy lemon sauce – use that to dunk – very nice way to start your meal.

Fresh Crab in Chef's Special Sauce

Fresh Crab in Chef’s Special Sauce – I know the picture looks like a whole bunch of cut up veggies – but there really was a lot of crab inside……..seriously.  The Chef’s special sauce turned out to be a variant of yellow curry – I remember it being thicker and more rich in flavour, so it was a bit of a let down, but the crab itself was delicious.  Plump, sweet pieces, still in their shell (I prefer the legs/body over the claws) – way to many veggies put in, obviously, but all in all – satisfying.


Steamed Sherri – I like Sherri (Emperor Bream??).  It’s not a delicate fish, but, rather, has a firm, meaty flesh.  But I find that it goes well with whatever its cooked/paired with.  This dish was very simply prepared – steamed and put into a tart, slightly spicy broth.  No fats, not too much salt – just the natural flavours of its few ingredients speaking for themselves – and very fragrant too.  I would love to eat this at home, for dinner, with a nice salad, on a regular basis – have to see what can be done about that.

King Prawn

King Prawn – Thermidor style.  So, these jumbo beauties arrives, shelled, chopped up and put into these little foil baskets.  They had been baked with cheese and mushrooms!  Not the healthiest thing in the world, but delicious!  The shrimp was cooked perfectly – read not rubbery!

Stir Fried Morning Glory

Stir Fried Morning Glory – WOW.  For those who don’t know what morning glory is, get yourself to Wikipedia and familiarise your self with this leafy wonder (   I thought this was an ingredient exclusive to South East Asian cuisine, but it seems like it’s used in the Sub-Continent too.  Very simple to prepare – get the Morning Glory leaves – clean – quickly stir fry with some garlic – eat.  I have used these as a staple side, since I first tried them numerous years ago.  It’s like a spinach, but less spinachy in flavour – the texture also holds up better to stir frying that spinach does – meaning it maintains a crunch, a snap and a chew, which spinach tends to go limp.  Highly recommend it.

Mushrooms in Oyster Sauce


Mixed Mushrooms in Oyster Sauce – A combination of white, button mushrooms, and Chinese mushrooms.  Pretty much tasted as it would sound.  I love the Chinese mushrooms, and the meaty chew they provide.  Good


Veggie Fried Rice


I would have never thought that the most simple, overlooked part of an Asian themed meal would have turned out to be the start.  At Sea World, you are given the option of steamed or fried rice with your meal.  We opted for the fried rice, and what came was the above.  Looks fairly ordinary?  It may, but after eating this, I realized that whoever cooked it was a genius.  Cooking in a wok is an art – one that many try, but few succeed in.  Cooking in a wok requires a very high temperature, and minimal time in the pan.  High heat/low time.   This fried rice was extraordinary – the chef had kept it in the wok long enough, and  a temperature high enough, to give it a wonderful smoky flavour – something that is VERY rare in fried rice.  Usually you get a greasy (and probably tasty) concoction but this was light with charred little bits of veggies and rice.  Going for the fried rice alone, next time, would be worth it.

Till next time – Sahtein.