For that dinner after dinner, there’s Kaati Express.

blankThere is such a mind-boggling variety of food cramped up in the block behind the Park Regis hotel in Karama, that your brains get fried into this chewy schmukaroo of dinner-time confusion. Should you do Ethiopian? Or Sudanese falafel? Or Indonesian? Or Indian – and if Indian, which of the many squished together places do you pick? It’s the perfect Karama couch for a food orgy of the most excessive order.

Now here’s the place I had for dinner after I already had dinner a few stops away some place else. Kati Express. I was in one of those crap situations where I’d just eaten a very mediocre, somewhat disappointing meal – one that filled my tummy, but didn’t touch my heart or move my soul or do any of those spiritual things that great food can do to you. So I stepped in, hoping that dinner part 2 would show me some love.


Kati Rolls are simply veggie or meaty fillings swaddled in a toasty layered Paratha. But underestimate it you must not. IF:

The filling is right—maybe some fat nobs of paneer basking over some coriander chutney and sprinkled with a lemon squish, or a nice juicy chicken tikka roll with thick zingy masala drooling all over it
The paratha is smeared with egg that fries up across its blistered surface into an omletty web of squishy-crisp flavour

Kati Roll -Kaati Express - Karama - Dubai+
Memories of standing in line for finger-spoilingly greasy Kati Rolls at Kati Roll Company in New York at 2am in the morning after (*_________* amnesia).


Mind Melt into this Gloopy Alien thing which will keep jabbering at you until you shut it up with a Kati Roll.

Mind Melt would be a bit of an exaggeration about the Kati Rolls at Katti Express. Good they are, mind-blowing they have potential to be—but are not yet. Let me show you.

Chicken Achari Roll - Kaati Express - Karama - Dubai

The Chicken Achari Roll. Tiny nuggets of chicken cooked with a gravy pickled with Nigella seeds, cuddled in a paratha that had the signature omelette stamp on it. The perfect tangy-lemony-eggy combo that would be a serious contender for your lunchtime munchies. Or your dinner part 2 munchies.

Chicken Achari Kati Roll - Kaati Express - Karama - Dubai

BUT, having loved the Kati Roll Company’s version in NYC, I did wish that this version had (1) zesty coriander chutney smeared inside (2) bundles of super-brownish caramelized masala onions (3) a paratha that is more toasty-crispy-charred, one that’s been cooked to that scary point that it’s about to get overcooked and then you swipe it off the griddle (Kati Roll Co. in NYC doesn’t do this, but I’m sure a extra toasty paratha would really have rocked that roll). I’m sure I could ask for at least two of these three adjustments the next time around, so it’s not a deal breaker by any means, just a little tweaking so I can selfishly relive the same Kati Roll experience from my New York days.

Shaami Kabab Roll - Kaati Express - Karama - Dubai

The tender Shaami Kabab roll was also lovingly polished off by yours truly—but the Chicken Achari definitely had the one-up with the picked twang going on inside it. I’d also place my bets on the Paneer Tikka (with a request for extra lemon on it), Bhuna Mutton (maybe I’d get an extra lemon squish here too), and Paneer Achari (no lemon, it’s already pickled.) They have some ‘Chinese’ and ‘Japanese’ versions like fillings with a nebulous ‘Chinese gravy’ (sweet and sour?) or Teriyaki sauce – which I’ll probably steer clear from just because I’m a fat old creature of habit and fusion Kati rolls just ain’t my thing.
[Famous last words. Watch this space closely cause I bet I’ll end up trying them someday and they’ll be the best thing since sliced, pan-fried and chaat-masala sprinkled paratha strips.]

Kaati Express
Behind Park Regis, opposite Bur Juman, Karama (approx. Google maps link)
Phone: +971 (4) 358 2733
Facebook page

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.

7 thoughts on “For that dinner after dinner, there’s Kaati Express.

    1. inafryingpan says:

      @facebook-804012:disqus – maybe something to try recreating in the home labs? ;)

  1. Saleem says:

    Have eaten a few must try your new find – you make me hungry every time I get to ready your articles.

    1. inafryingpan says:

      Yes dad, we’ll make sure to hit up the place together!

  2. says:

    i didnt think much of kaati express. IMO shiraz does better ones when it comes to true calcutta style kaathi rolls

  3. Amit says:

    Try this newly opened restaurant in Al Safa-2, Shahi Angethi(, have eaten some of the best kathi rolls in dubai, they make kathi roll wrapped in a authentic mughlai paratha with a wide variety of choice for filling from galauti kebabs to achari tikka to even boti kebabs ( which BTW i have not seen in any restaurant in Dubai so far). Rolls is just one of the options from a wide variety of cuisine they serve.

    They claim to be most authentic in awadhi & mughlai preparation.

    Happy Eating


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