BarB.Q. Tonight, Jumeirah Road

Funny how it’s actually in Dubai where I get to dine in all these Pakistani restaurants that are famous back home. It’s embarrassing how I am so unaware with what’s in and what’s not in my own birthplace. Growing up, we didn’t really have the tradition of eating out on a regular basis. Food, if it was ever bought from a restaurant, has always been ordered as take out and consumed in the comforts of our home. Dining out was considered too expensive, a hassle, and a sign that the lady of the house was too lazy to cook.

Few years later things have changed dramatically. Dining out has become fashionable in Karachi so much so that a family must dress up nicely and eat in a restaurant at least once a month. I left Karachi thirteen or fourteen years ago. That is a huge gap. When I visit, it’s only for a few days. I don’t even know my way home from the airport anymore.

Fortunately for me, Dubai is home to several famous Pakistani restaurants that instantly remind me of home; it’s through food that I reconnect with my birthplace. One such place is BarB.Q. Tonight along Jumeirah Road.

The Location and First Impressions:

The best way to find BarB.Q. Tonight along Jumeirah Road is to spot the Union Flag, that massive U.A.E. flag that flaps proudly in the warm hot desert wind. This restaurant is just across the road. There is ample parking space, and the restaurant can accommodate up to 400 people (they have both indoor and outdoor seating arrangements). The interiors are clean and very tastefully decorated.

I went there twice; once with colleagues for lunch, then dinner a few weeks later with family.

Although it has been an established name in Karachi since the late 80’s, BarB.Q. Tonight is still pretty new in Dubai, having opened in February this year. They take pride in the freshness of ingredients that they use, homemade traditional recipes, and value for money.

The Food and Drinks:

One fine evening at work, a few minutes after I’ve finished my dinner, Saima ji —a friend so close to the family that she’s considered one of my sisters—invites me and Masood to have dinner with her and the rest of my sisters at BarB.Q. Tonight. “But we’ve eaten!” I tell her. “It doesn’t matter,” she replies and adds, “We’re downstairs waiting for you. We’re not leaving without you two.” Turns out we are celebrating her promotion at work! She doesn’t tell us right away. It’s only after Masood and I tell her that we are only ordering drinks does she tell us that we must eat because we’re celebrating.

With BarB.Q. Tonight, it’s always a better option to order buffet. They have so many options when it comes to kababs and tikkas.

And since I am a very shy person and can not gather up the courage to actually go and take pictures of the buffet spread, I decide to arrange the food in my plate so that I can photograph them for you. I take you all so seriously that way.

Of all the starters, this is my favorite:

It’s just fried eggplant with yogurt or sesame dip. I know, I should have asked considering how much I love it. I’ve garnished it with tabouleh, a popular salad in this part of the world, traditionally made of bulgur, tomato, parsley and mint, often including onion and garlic, seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Yum!

Crispy fried fish on a bed of freshly-made hummus, drizzled with mint chutney, and paired up with tabouleh. I believe I consume a dozen of these.

Chicken seekh kebab with sweet and sour tamarind chutney. My favorite. I want to make these at home. Scratch that. I’d love my sister, Sanaf, to make these for me. She makes amazing kebabs.

There are so many other options on the buffet spread, like biryani, Afghani pulao, vegetarian curries, a variety of meat and seafood curries, and naan, etc. There is also a couple of Chinese dishes (with a desi twist, of course).

We are also impressed with the choices in dessert. That picture of my plate shows bread pudding, or shahi turkey, with vanilla custard and berries. They are served separately; I just brought them together for photography’s sake.

Oh, and there were mangoes! Lots and lots of them. The staff keeps up with making sure the tray of mangoes is never empty, but people seem to attack the mangoes from all sides. However, the customer service is so good that when we inform one of the waiters that the mangoes are gone (again!) he actually brings a tray of sliced mangoes to our table!

And the way Masood and my sisters eat mangoes…


Overall Experience:

Dining at BarB.Q. Tonight is always a pleasant experience. I love the ambience of the restaurant, the customer service, and the grilled items on their menu. The price is pretty reasonable too: AED 35 for lunch buffet, and AED 45 for dinner buffet.

BarB.Q. Tonight’s website.


HH Hamdan Award Complex
Jumeirah Road (in front of the Union Flag), Dubai
Tel: 800 BARBQ (22727)


  1. LOvED,loved and lOVED this post .:) Your post actually reminded me how much I miss Pakistan and its food. I shall be going in December Inshallah—HAVE to go to BBQ tonight. Also, the pictures about your husband and sisters eating mango—-:DD

    1. Thank you so much, Mehwish! Oh, and I’ll be going in November, inshaAllah. It’s going to such a lovely time to visit Karachi.

      When I saw them eat mangoes with spoons and knives, I knew I had to capture the moment 😀

  2. Hi Nadia . Hope u r fine. BBq tonight near Lamcy Plaza , the different branch of the same restaurant (I think so) has been serving for a long time in Dubai. Its our favorite place for kebab buffet. The foods are always yummy specially Shahi Tukrey. They also have another branch in Jumeirah walk, but the food in Karama branch is way better. I didn’t know they open this new branch.
    Anyways, next time you try buffet in Lal Qilla Restaurant in Jumeirah Road,just opposite the UAE flag. I am sure you will enjoy there. You need to reserve early as its tend to be over crowded during weekends.

    1. Farzana, thank you so much. I’m doing great, alhumdulillah. I’ve never dined in BBQ Delight. Perhaps after Ramadan, inshaAllah.

      Lal Qila is a favorite of ours! We’ve tried their lunch and dinner buffets, and also know that Prince Saleem is off on Mondays 😉

      I haven’t reviewed Lal Qila because the pictures never come out nice (the ambiance is too dark, er romantic, for photography) 😀

  3. OOps I am so sorry..My hubby just told me Its BBq tonight & We always eat at BBq Delight …Poor me & embarrassed 🙁
    They look alike !!!!

  4. I like the first two, yum! Vick and I always eat at the same middle eastern place all the time, we don’t bother going to other restaurants, I think I need to go out more lol.

    1. ‘liya, yes you must explore other restaurants. I’ve heard there are so many middle eastern and desi restaurants in Toronto now. And you must write about them, of course 🙂

  5. Dear Nadia,

    I must admit that you done an awesome job, i was just confuse to take my family over there but after seeing your reviews i decided to visit for this Ramadan. Thank You so much.

  6. and the barbeques need be tonight, huh? it can’t be any other, as in, hehe 😉 btw, i love it that the servings look delicious and dainty, like they’re made and prepared with the diner in mind. not many restaurants are able to do that. and the place doesn’t look intimidating from the photos… ^^

    you always eat a dozen of food you like and yet, you don’t get fat, Nadia… ain’t that something to complain about? i mean, there ought to be some justice, don’t you think? sometimes, you must post a picture of your midsection after a week of going out and enjoying those foods, what say, eh? 😉 😉

    1. Yep, BBQs need to be tonight because it’s normally too hot during the day and people prefer to socialize in the evenings.

      The servings aren’t prepared with the diner in mind. The meal was buffet. I created the servings with photography in mind 😉

      A picture of my midsection?! I’d rather not risk losing the few readers that I have 😀

      Have a great day, ‘San!

      1. ay sus, so it’s you who made those foods look dainty? pambihira… ikaw na, ikaw na talaga. 😉 at nag-explain sya tungkol sa tonight, patatawarin… ^^

        hey, you really should work in a magazine and not just guest-write every so often. i didn’t realize it was a buffet ( or, i wasn’t paying attention, huh?)… you’re good, you’re good. 🙂

        but that’s what people usually want to see and read about – honest renditions and accounts of a blogger’s life and goings-on, hehe. 😉

        spend the rest of the week happy, dear. 🙂

        1. Importante yung explanation tungkol sa tonight; I am projecting this blogger image where I take my readers and their comments seriously. Did you have to go and ruin that composed image of mine? 😉

          You are too generous with your comments, ‘San. Coming from a really good writer like yourself, this means a lot to me. Thank you so much!

          1. but i really love your writing, your infused humor, dear… i don’t know where or how you got it, but it certainly has given me many LMAOs and giggles…

            as far as I know, your mom is beautiful, your sisters are talented and intelligent, your husband is serious and yeah, nothing else remains but for you to be funny as a rather straight person, hihi. all other adjectives have been taken, i guess. and it redounds to my benefit as your reader, see? 😉

            btw, mabagyo rito, Nadia, sobra – been raining continuously the past several days. not much wind yet, but MM and our yard look like sinalanta, ahaha… and yes, frequent power outages, huhu. anyway, let’s cheers! lablab 😉

  7. Thank you so much for the recommendation. Looking forward to having dinner at barb-q-tonight. The food looks delicious!!

  8. I have been in search of a great Pakistani restaurant and end up here. thank you for the post. you have clearly mentioned the price and all other exclusively. thanks a lot.

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