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Dubai: Sarap Nation – Filipino Food in JLT

Seafood pancit, Filipino food, Sarap Nation, JLT, Dubai

One of the things about Dubai that I have really learned to appreciate after covid-19 is the large selection of restaurants with food from all over the world. Now that we cannot travel abroad, it is great to have access to food from so many different countries within the city.

The other day I saw a small Filipino restaurant, Sarap Nation, in JLT and decided to go there for lunch. Before we moved to Dubai, I had never tasted Filipino food, but I have really come to like the hearty meals and the large variety of dishes and flavors.

Filipinos really like their pork dishes, with lechón (roasted suckling pick) being among the most famous ones. Though the island nation also has a big selection of delicious dishes with fish and seafood.  

I asked the staff at Sarap Nation which seafood dishes they would recommend, and they suggested that I either ordered the Sinigang na Hipon (sour soup with shrimp) or the seafood pancit (noodle dish). I could not decide, so I ordered both dishes. The staff also suggested that I tried their ube dalgona, and since I cannot say no to purple-colored drinks, I decided to try that one too. Ube is a purple potato-like vegetable which is used in many kinds of desserts in the Philippines. I use to say that the most interesting thing about ube is the color, as the flavor is not really for me, but mixed with the dalgona foam, it was delicious.

The sinigang soup is typically served with white rice, and the acidity comes from tamarind. The flavor is similar to Thai Tom Yum soup, but without the saltiness from the fish sauce and the heat from the chilies. The seafood flavor mixes very well with the tamarind, and the soup was even better, when I heated up the leftovers for dinner later that day, as it had taken on more flavor from the shrimp.

Pancit is noodles with different kinds of vegetables and meat, chicken or seafood. It is real Filipino comfort food and is often made with rice noodles, but the pancit I got at Sarap Nation was made with glass noodles and reminded me of Korean japchae. The fried calamari was delicious and tasted homemade, and the portion was large enough for two-three persons to share. Though it was just me and myself dining, so I got the leftovers to go together with the soup and the rice.

Sarap Nation, Shop 6, Ground Level (one stair up from the promenade), Fortune Tower, Cluster C, Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT), Dubai

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