Operation Falafel (Dubai)

What’s the one thing we wanted as soon as our plane arrived in Dubai? Shawarma! Those strips of meat, slathered in sauce, and tucked into chewy pitas – come to me now!

View of the courtyard from our seats on the patio
For our first experience, my friend suggested we try Operation Falafel, located at JBR Walk, a strip that reminds me of a longer and glitzier Cumberland (for those from Toronto). We weren’t going to find the cheap and casual sandwiches that’s so popular in the city, but we would dine on shawarmas and see tons of exotic cars – like Yorkville, they also drive down a street to end up sitting in traffic for half an hour, rendering the speedy machines to move slower than pedestrians.

Operation Falafel’s shawarma open platter (AED36) attempted to satisfy the cravings. A mixture of chicken and beef arrives with essentials like pickles, onions, and warm soft puffy pitas to make our own sandwiches. The meat was fairly tender, but the sauces so subdued that I couldn’t taste the difference between the garlic aioli and tahini. Two sauces that are generally strong in sesame or garlic flavours, and Operation Falafel’s tasted like mayo with a sprinkling of seasoning. Sure, they’re okay to dip fries into, but couldn’t stand up against shawarma.

At least the soft puffy pitas were on point and the pickles tangy enough to add interest to everything. The thinly slices onions were a bit of a miss: it’s nice that they are soaked in water, so the strong onion flavours mellows, but not to the point that it’s all crunch and no taste.

In the end, the shawarma plate was a bit like the cars along JBR Walk – beautifully plated and fancy to look at yet doesn’t get the engines revving. 

Overall mark - 7 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
 Address: Jumeirah Beach Residence 2

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

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