We tried a plethora of places this month that sit firmly on the 'cheap and cheerful' list. We loved thekhatchapuri at Lahmajoon, the salad at Russian Kitchen and the karak at Spot - for the rest of our recommendations, read on!



Moti Mahal is one of Abu Dhabi's longest standing Indian restaurants and it's created the most loyal of followings: the food is not only insanely good, but affordable too!

Butter chicken, the perennial favourite, is creamy with lots of pieces of tender chicken. The dahl makhani is delicious and quite thin in texture, while the vegetable biryani is a huge serving, more than enough for two people and full to brimming with vegetables. Roti, naan and parathas are on point and in terms of spice, just enough heat is added so as not to overpower the dish, which so many places tend to do.

If you like Indian food, Moti Mahal is a must-try.

Open: 11.30AM - 11.30PM

Price: Butter chicken, dahl makhani, lamb korma, veg biryani rice, plain paratha, potato paratha AED 135

Contact: 02 674 2121



Let’s begin with the kachapouri because if you order, this is where you should start: don’t wait to get stuck in: this dish is best enjoyed while the runny yolk can still be mixed in with the gooey, warm feta and mozzarella cheese and melted butter. The homemade dough, rolled into boat-like shape to hold all the gooey goodness, was so soft, it ripped apart. We loves this traditional Georgian dish!

The sarouk Beirut is more of a pastry style dough, filled with fried lamb cubes, peppers and onions marinated in Armenian tikka spices. The contrast of the spice against the three cheeses melted on top is divine. Cut up into slices, this is the perfect pull apart sharing pastry.

From the Invincible Wraps selection, we were childishly tempted to order the Slutty Turkey (yes, we're 5!) but we kept it classy and ordered the Lahmajoon antap and the chah kebab. These wraps are a little thicker, incredibly soft and more like a flat bread, baked fresh in-house. The Lahmajoon antap with its Armenian spices, spicy ground meat and the addition of the eggplant (which is apparently traditional) is simple yet delicious - and BIG! Flavours of the barbecued vegetables mixed in with the ground meat really come through in the chah kebab.

And dessert, you say? Oh yes. We got the Steve Special with kinder but the Lahmajoon special was particularly interesting. I’ve never had tahina in sweet form but with the banana on manakish bread, we're converted 

Order direct through 052 734 3439 or via delivery platforms

Open: 7M - 9PM Sundays, midnight all week

Price: lahmajoons AED12-19

Contact: 02 444 4337



If you're on the lookout for affordable, authentic Russian and Uzbek cuisine, we've got just the place for you. Tucked away in the city, this hidden gem is an owner-operated restaurant that has been satisfying taste buds for a remarkable 18 years. And it's not hard to see why – the food is fantastic.

We recommend trying at least a couple of our favorites. Start with the herring salad (AED28), this stacked salad of potatoes, carrots, herring and bright pink beets is a pleasant surprise of flavors. The fish BBQ (AED40) comes perfectly seasoned and fried, so light and crispy you’ll even crave the skin! Don't miss out on the manti (AED30), generously-sized dumplings filled with savory minced meat. They're so big that you might find yourself torn between using your hands or a fork to enjoy them. Last, but certainly not least the cheese chebureki (AED9) is a heavenly delight of buttery, flaky pastry filled with gooey melted cheese. If you're up for variety, they also offer meat or potato filling. 

From the authentic flavors to the budget-friendly prices, this place has it all.

Priyatnogo appetita!

Open: 9.30AM - 11.30PM

Price: mostly under AED30 per dish

Contact: 02 676 7834



Tripoli Sweets is a traditional Arabic bakery nestled in the heart of Abu Dhabi city, serving Lebanese inspired delicacies and confectionery that have the authentic Teta’s touch to them. It’s a charming store and the staff are lovely and welcoming, ready to box your orders with their fresh, daily-made treats.

Favourites include the cheese kunafa bread that is the perfect blend of savoury and sweet with a delicious honey flavour and warm gooey cheese and the pistachio baklawa with rose syrup infused pastry.

Tripoli Sweets is perfect to cater family gatherings, gifts to loved ones back home or to satisfy your sweet tooth any day with a mouth-watering Arabic treat.

Open: 8.00AM - 10.30PM

Price: Cheese Kunafa Bread | AED12.50, Assorted Baklawa | AED115 per kg AED2-3 per piece, Namoura | AED55 per kg, Ma’moul mix | AED60 per kg

Contact: 02 634 3117



Calling all Karak tea lovers, we love Spot Karak for its cheap and authentic experience.

Don’t give up on your GPS as it has you turning down multiple small streets and alleys to find this “spot.” Serving steaming hot, freshly brewed karak tea car-side in little clay cups, this is a true hidden gem. The car-side presentation is such a fun and has a decidedly Insta worthy twist!

Coming in at a whopping 5 dirhams per cup, your wallet and taste buds will be eternally grateful for this experience.

Open: 5.30AM - 1AM

Price: AED5 per cup

Contact: 02 556 6162

Rachael Partington