>> Shank House Restaurant Dubai Cuisine | Eat the World NYC

27 December 2017

Shank House Restaurant Dubai Cuisine


For those of us without vehicles, Floral Park remains a faraway land that can only be accessed on special occasions. Already long rides on the 7 train to Flushing only get you to the midway point of Queens if "faraway" needs more description, to get here would require at least one connection and a long bus ride from the end of a Jamaica-bound train. Technically still part of Queens, one could walk a few blocks east and end up on Long Island and start using 516 area codes.

The moral of the story? Borrow your friend's car.

Amongst the many South Asian restaurants and groceries that line both Union Turnpike and Hillside Avenue, a relative newcomer has come to the neighborhood offering "Dubai Cuisine." Take a deep dive into their menu, and indeed some of the wonders of Emirati cooking do emerge, a unique offering in New York City.

The restaurant is casual with counter ordering service, but does offer comfortable tables with banquettes for seating. On one side a gigantic poster shows the skyline of Dubai at night.

Somewhat like more familiar biryanis, mandi is perhaps the star of the cuisine. Emiratis and Saudis fight over the origin of the dish, each claiming it as their own. This mutton mandi ($13.99, above) comes with a massive shank served over spiced basmati rice. While I do not think the restaurant dug a hole to cook the meat in tandoor style, it was nevertheless incredibly moist and fell right of the bone. The dish can also be served with a half chicken instead of mutton. Any version will include a thin well-spiced soup (above, background) that works to get your mouth salivating before the arrival of the mandi.

While sauces were certainly not necessary because it was already so good, three squeeze bottles arrived with the mandi and can be used as desired to create different tastes. The yellow bottle is full of their wonderful yogurt white sauce, always a good combination with basmati rice.

Sticking to sheep, the preferred animal to eat in the Emirates, a bowl of mutton salona ($12.99, below) was also ordered. The first taste of this provided flavors unique to any bite I had ever taken, as the broth is full of a zesty sourness that works well to cut the fattiness of the on-bone meats.

Our conversation with the server yielded only the presence of "Arabic spices" and pomegranate dust, but research seems to show these spices might include the powder of dried limes known as loomi. Regardless, the stew is fantastic. Had we not been eating so much, an order of bread would have been a perfect companion.

Most of the population of the Emirates lives along the sea and seafood makes an important part of the diet as well. Served grilled or pan-fried in a tawa seems to be the most popular options.

The tawa fish ($6, above) is cooked in a good deal of oil, which it retains to serving. I was unable to identify the fish this large fillet came from, but most of the taste comes from the generous rub they apply.

While certainly not Emirati, order a cup of their milky pink tea ($2.50, below), a chai from Kashmir full of spices and crushed pistachios.

For dessert there is masoob ($5, below), vanilla ice cream with mango syrup covered in whipped cream and more crushed nuts. While sounding quite sweet, it is not overly so, and ends the meal perfectly.

Shank House has a large menu and lots of options. A "Desi Corner" section seems to appeal to the neighborhood, but many cuts of meat, kebabs, and of course shanks are available served a la carte. The namesake wrap includes every type of kebab meat together, while the Burj al Arab, named after the famous hotel in Dubai that looks like a sailboat, is filled with chicken tikka boti.

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Shank House Restaurant Dubai Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato