Al Fanar Seafood Market Barsha Pond Park: Celebrating the origins of seafood culture in the UAE

Al Fanar Seafood Market Barsha Pond Park offers the rare opportunity to experience the origins of seafood culture in the UAE in a setting inspired by the ruins of Jazirat Al Hamra. Join The Huntr as we present the scoop…

Chances are you may have heard of Al Fanar restaurants. With an impressive ten locations (including two international outlets, one in London and one in KSA) the homegrown Emirati restaurant brand’s star is soaring. Created to celebrate and pay homage to Dubai in the 1960’s and authentic Emirati cuisine, Al Fanar eateries aim to “revive the memories of Dubai when it was a small town on the shore of the Arabian Gulf at an idyllic spot close to the creek-with rows of wind towers surrounded by Al Badia oasis, with tents and Barasti huts where fishermen, pearl merchants and Bedouins lived.”

This latest outpost in the Al Fanar empire – Al Fanar Seafood Market Barsha Pond Park – was inspired by the ruins of Jazirat Al Hamra in Ras Al Khaimah. One foot inside this Barsha gem and you feel as if you’ve been transported back in time. The first thing we clocked was a little corner tuck shop filled with old school sweets and candy. There’s a fish market, from which you can select fresh seafood and fish that’s made to order just how you like it and you can even purchase the plates and crockery to take home with you in the Al Fanar corner shop. There’s various seating options for small and large groups. Inside you can choose to sit in the open restaurant area or for a little more privacy and a true authentic experience, settle into one of the Arabic-style, private dining rooms. Outside the dining area is expansive and features relaxing views of the surround park plus a playground area for kids.

As you might assume from the name, the emphasis here food-wise is on fresh fish and seafood. The menu features a tempting area of the same – including starters and main courses. The big pull is the opportunity to create your own masterpiece – where you can visit the Fish Market, hand select your catch and then choose your cooking style. Breakfast is also served on weekends and during the week Al Fanar Seafood Market Barsha Pond Park is open for lunch and dinner. The Huntr visited for a late weekend lunch we started our experience with a plethora of dishes to share (which we ate outside) – our favourites were the Cheesy Crab Poppers (39AED), the Keema Paratha (36AED), Reqaq with Honey and Cheese (31AED), Crispy Calamari (42AED), Fish Kofta (48AED) and Pakora (32AED). For the main event (which we took inside to one of the Arabic-style private dining rooms) we opted for the Emirati Chicken Tikka (58AED), Garlic Scallops (69AED) and Pan Fried Seabass (64AED). Unfortunately we didn’t have any space for dessert but we are planning to return soon to try the Al Fanar breakfast experience…

This is the perfect place to experience a little nostalgia, show a visitor some Emirati culture or enjoy a casual meal with friends and family.

Insider tips: Free parking directly outside the restaurant, which is accessible from the Barsha Pond Park parking lot. Open Sunday to Thursday 12:00noon until 10pm and Fridays and Saturdays from 8am until 10pm.

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