Every once in a while, we love to explore the hidden gems of the Emirates. Now what qualifies as a hidden gem, in my opinion, is a restaurant/cafe that serves a variety of good quality food with an impeccable service at a reasonable price.
I came across this cafe located on the university road, Sharjah, on Instagram and instantly fell in love with the heavenly images of pasta, dynamite shrimps, corn dog and their eye-popping desserts like waffle on stick and Nutella coated crepes. I knew I couldn’t sleep properly until I went there myself and experience the magic.
We visited Rabie Al Shay on a Friday afternoon. It is a small cafe that is more of a takeaway joint for the students in that area. They do have 2 small fold down tables with stools in a small alley but in rush hours it can be a little inconvenient to sit and dine.
For starters, we ordered the dynamite fries which were not only a visual delight but were so addictive that they were literally gone in 60 seconds and we were left begging for more. These fries were doused with cheese, a unique chipotle ranch that was both tangy and spicy, crispy bacon, a dollop of sour cream and garnished with spring onions. This appetizer set the mood just right and we knew right away that this place is famous among food bloggers for all the right reasons.
Then came dynamite shrimps mounted on a bed of fresh lettuce. We were warned that they were to be consumed as soon as possible, otherwise, they would turn soggy. We quickly took pictures and started nibbling on our starter. It had 8 crispy shrimps, coated in a delicious, creamy, tangy and zesty sauce which tasted irresistibly divine. I feel that P.F Chang’s dynamite shrimps have lost their charm over the years, so this was a pleasant change and I loved this unique recipe. I would definitely be going back for this appetizer.
The corn dog which is a chicken sausage coated in a thick layer of cornmeal batter on a stick had a great flavor. It was crispy to the last bite and the burst of flavors in your mouth at each bite was what made it so delicious. It is perfect for a snack and definitely a hit among kids. It tasted even better when eaten with the in-house pink sauce that is served with it.
For mains, we ordered their famous penne pasta in a pink sauce which was a show stealer for me. From the presentation to the taste and the quality of ingredients used, this pasta recipe would give some of the fancy Italian Restaurants a run for their money. We requested our server to make it spicy according to our taste but in case you don’t like it spicy, you can always ask them to make it less spicy for you. The staff is highly efficient and helpful.
From the sandwiches, we ordered a grilled halloumi sandwich. The sandwich consisted of real halloumi cheese, turkey bacon, tomato, iceberg, mayo, served in panini ciabatta bread. I did not enjoy the taste of halloumi cheese much, it was just not according to my taste. Soc it was a wrong order on my part.
We also ordered mixed sliders, which had 2 sliders- one beef and one chicken. We did take away for this one. It did not taste good after reheating as the burger got hard after heating it in the microwave oven. This should be consumed right away.
The classic beef burger was good. The beef pattie was nice and juicy and the sauces in the burger complimented the flavors.
For the desserts, we had their most popular Sushi crepes and Nutella waffle on the stick. Both the desserts are a visual treat to watch. The way they make it makes it even more special. We also tried the Nutella crepe!
However, this dessert should be consumed there and then because if you get it packed and eat it a few hours later. the crepes and waffle get soggy with the chocolate sauces and it doesn’t taste as good. I don’t like desserts that are too sweet and this one is pretty high on sugar as it is drenched in the milk chocolate and white chocolate sauces
Rabiee Al Shaay or soon to be Flavors of the World is a great place to take away and grab a quick bite. I am sure the students nearby University City would love everything they have to offer!