The lamb chops you should have been eating for the past 30 years.

blankScratch your dinner plans tonight and try the lamb chops in Karama.

SMOKY and BUTTERY are two of the most overused words when it comes to describing grilled meat. After trying the ones at Karama-born Dimyati, I’ll be wary about slapping those words onto a lesser kabab again.

Lamb chops - Al Dimyati & Iskandaron Restaurant - Karama - Dubai - Arabic food

One order will land you four glistening baby chops, sweating out their juices as though they’ve just stepped off the treadmill. They seem somewhat lean and inadequate on the plate, but when you tear down the rich fleshy curves hemmed in by bits of black charcoal crust, you realize that two deliberately-savoured chops are enough to sate. Or three. The fourth is bordering on gluttony.

The bony chop handles hold surprisingly plump knobs of tender meat which look like they’ve been pounded and grilled only until the meat fibres break down into butter, not coalesce into rock. I’ve had a lamb chop that sent me into raptures only one other time this year, and that was a few weeks ago in Iran. Now I have them again, on a backstreet in Karama.

Lamb chops - Al Dimyati & Iskandaron Restaurant - Karama - Dubai - Arabic food

I will admit that it hurts to pay 40 dirhams per plate of four lamb chops in Karama – only because my wallet is not trained to pay anything more than 20 dirhams for an entire meal in that neighbourhood. But it hurts even more to think that Dimayti has been serving these lamb chops for the past three decades, if not more, and I never got wind of it. Fellow long-time residents who know their Karama joints swear by this place and many an online reviewer has spilt the juice on these chops, bite by succulent bite. Old timers have got some serious meal mileage from Dimyati, like Delna who’s been eating at this joint “[e]ver since I can remember! I’ve been in Dubai for 30 years now and our home has been ordering Arabic [food] for the longest time. It has been the most popular Arabic neighbourhood restaurant in Karama and the fact it still is speaks a lot about the quality of food!”

And me, I’ve evidently been sleeping under a rock.

Dimyati is a barebones cafeteria owned by a Palestinian and run by the Egyptians. With a facade painted in sterile shades of blue and interiors lined with multi-coloured tiles, the ambiance – or lack thereof – channels your attention to what matters most, the food. Loyalists know better than to stray indoors, like Kunal Chellani and his family who “never sat down in the restaurant and had a meal, we just drive by the place, do the traditional Dubai “honk honk” and carry it home.”

Can you imagine those lamb chops in the comfort of your PJs? Pajama time on steroids.

It might be 30 years of marinating experience, or maybe decades of meaty nubs leaving their flavour behind on the grill, but some combination of X-factors makes Dimyati kababs way better than your average cafeteria grill fix. Moist logs of lamb with the caramelized tan of a well-oiled grill instantly made me my granny’s pet for the week after I brought home a tray of meaty conquests one afternoon. It is true that many places in the city – especially the Iranian ones – have set the bar very high on this kabab category, but Dimyati upholds that bar with grace.

Lamb kababs - Al Dimyati & Iskandaron Restaurant - Karama - Dubai - Arabic food

The Arayes is another winner that shouldn’t be neglected on your order. This is no lean meat sandwich – two toasty and well-charred slices of khubz are glued together with a hefty 3mm cream-coloured layer of lamb, making this one of the best meat-for-crisp bread ratios that you might find in the city.

Arayes - Al Dimyati & Iskandaron Restaurant - Karama - Dubai - Arabic food

What I will debate – at the risk of having every long-time Dimyati loyalist hunt me down for retribution – is the quality of the hummus. I’ve spoken to ardent Dimyati fans who’ve lapped up Dimyati’s hummus from the times of its first location on the main road near Al Jadeed Bakery (thanks Kunal!) – and each of them have independently nominated the cafeteria’s hummus for an Oscar Award.

Hummus - Arayes - Al Dimyati & Iskandaron Restaurant - Karama - Dubai - Arabic food

I tried desperately to love the hummus. I went in with an open mind and the respect that a 30-year restaurant with a loyal patronage deserves, but I’d be lying if I said I had the hots for this hummus. It’s been mediocre at best, grainy and dry on its weaker days, and marginally improved by the refreshing tatbeela sauce (with green peppers, chillies and lemon juice) that my Dimyati advisory board recommended I specially request for. The Arabic stalwarts of Deira crank out luscious hummus that can spank the chickpeas off of Dimyati’s version, but it’s not the end of the world. It would be only if Dimyati stopped serving those lamb chops.

Seriously, stick with the meat and you have a better chance of being impressed. The veggie dishes are wholesome without aspiring to be memorable.

Falafels, fattoush and qudseya - Hummus - Al Dimyati & Iskandaron Restaurant - Karama - Dubai - Arabic food

The crisp green-bellied falafels served with a watered-down tahina sauce, the chunky fattoush and the hummus with warm fava bean dip (Qudsiya) are all perfectly acceptable – just nothing that makes Dimyati a destination. The lamb chops alone justify a drive to Karama. They are worth taking the risk of inciting a frantic lamb chop rush and then having people throw stink bombs in your blog’s comment section in the unlikely event that those nibbly knobs of pulpy charred lamb meat didn’t live up to the hype.

Are you listening to me? Dimyati’s lamb chops. You simply have to try to them.

Al Dimyati & Iskandaron Restaurant
Phone: 04-3964848 || 043966339
Take the right after Al Reef Bakery on Za’abeel Road, then another right at the Day to Day Trading. The restaurant will be on your left, right after an ambitiously named restaurant called Food Paradise. Or refer to my Google Maps hotpot of restaurant hideouts.

Author: InaFryingPan

With a family legacy of ingenious cooks, a nutritionist and chef-extraordinaire mother, and a father who introduced me to steak and caviar when I could barely reach the table, I had no choice but to acquire a keen awareness of food during my childhood years in Dubai. But it was only after I found myself on a college campus in Philadelphia – far away from home, too cheap as a student to spend on anything other than pizza, and with dorm rooms that had little rat-holes of kitchens if they even had them at all – when I developed a heightened appreciation of food. An appreciation of food that I once ate every night at the dinner table in Dubai, but that was now an entire ocean away. I lusted for the culinary treasures that lay outside the stale walls of my college dining hall, hijacked friends’ kitchens to try my hand at something, anything , remotely edible, and greedily raided different websites in search of highly-rated restaurants. With my move to New York to work for a consulting firm that secretly harbored self-professed foodies, my appreciation transformed into a passion, an addicition. I felt like everyone around me in New York was talking about food: where to get the best cupcakes, pizza slices, banh mi, kati rolls, pho, fried chicken, and every other food item out there that is just a plain old dish in some part of the world, but that’s become hyped to unforeseen proportions in New York. What fuelled my addiction over time was travel to different cities, both for work and play, which gave me unfettered access to the culinary havens of not only New York, but also of DC, Virginia, Chicago, Houston, Vegas, Austin, Seattle and even a little city called Bentonville (Arkansas!). After 9 years away from home, I’ve finally taken the leap to come back to Dubai – with not just an awareness, but genuine appreciation and passionate addiction for what I’d taken for granted as a child. Mom, I’m back to reclaim my seat at your dinner table, and to rediscover this city with its ever-expanding menu of international flavors.

9 thoughts on “The lamb chops you should have been eating for the past 30 years.

  1. Dev J Haldar says:

    Holy moly! I am dreaming lamb chops sitting at work!
    The ‘Po’ in me is now looking for a new inner ‘piece’!

  2. Abigail says:

    40Dhs for a plate of lamb chops is expensive but if you say it is worth it – I will ask hubby to drive us there.

    1. InaFryingPan says:

      The pressure is on me now Abigail! Let me know if you think the plate was worth the drive – despite the admittedly high price!

  3. Devina Divecha says:

    I don’t understand how I’ve never heard of it either!!! 25 years of living here…shame on me! Will keep an eye out for this one.

    1. InaFryingPan says:

      I know right?! There are so many places like this that I have completely missed over the past years, but better late than never!

  4. Salman says:

    Agree with the comment on hummus, don’t agree with push on Lamb chops at all. They are expensive and not worth it.
    For the last 20 years or so that I have grown up in Dubai, Ibrahimi restaurant on Electra street Abudhabi gives you the best Lamb chops at 28dhs a plate, nobody has come close since, at least at that price.
    Definitely not the pretender from Dimyati…

    1. InaFryingPan says:

      Salman, your words are music to my ears! I love hearing from people who are passionate about their food. You can bet I will try the ones at Ibrahimi in Abu Dhabi, happy to travel for stellar chops. Thanks for sharing this recommendation!

  5. Elshan says:

    Hi is it Dimyati or Damyati? I cannot find a restaurant with the former.

  6. Sakhir says:

    Did you the Lamp Chops in Americana Tikka, i love those;;; do try once it cost you Dhs.37.00 per plate of 6chops.


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