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Casa Pinoy Restaurant in Al Karama


Because of Mark's dietary needs, I always get his approval before I accept invites for restaurant reviews. I need to make sure that the restaurant serves something that's okay for gym buffs like Mark.

But when I knew that Casa Pinoy is serving isaw, which I have been having a huge craving for since we got back to Dubai in January from our vacation in the Philippines, I just immediately had to say yes!


Come Saturday morning, I informed Mark that we'll eat out for lunch. Knowing how Filipino food is mostly on the non-healthy (yet definitely yummy) side, I can already imagine how Mark would react once he finds out that we're headed to a Filipino restaurant. And when we finally arrived at Casa Pinoy, Mark was surprised that we're literally eating out(side).

Casa Pinoy in Al Karama

The restaurant doesn't have an indoor dining area but had an al fresco area that's perfect on winters, which turns into a makeshift structure with clear tarp walls and air conditioner during Dubai's hot summer days.

It's a good setup, though, because you can easily see how your food is prepared with their live cooking station through the kitchen's clear glass panels.

Al Fresco Dining at Casa Pinoy

Aside from Filipino dishes, Casa Pinoy also serves up a medley of Chinese, Spanish, and Japanese dishes. I was meaning to have some sushi to at least make up for not consulting Mark first about this review, but it's sad that we weren't provided with the Japanese menu during our visit. I came here for the isaw, anyway, so I just shrugged that off. :p

I've been saying how much I'm craving this, so what else did I get when it's time to order? Isaw, of course! And it's as if this will be the last time that I'll be having isaw, I got not just one but two orders of it--one grilled and one fried! Haha!

Grilled Isaw at Casa Pinoy
Grilled Isaw - AED 10

I must admit though that the vibrant orange color of the isaw somehow turned me off (though this is what you'd normally see in streets in the Philippines), but this Grilled Isaw platter is not only the most authentic tasting, but is also the least expensive among other isaws that I've tried here in Dubai. 6 huge sticks for only AED10--such a steal!

They also serve Crispy Isaw! Yes, it's battered isaw that's deep fried! I loved dipping it into their spiced vinegar. Aaaah! I'm in isaw heaven! :D

Crispy Isaw at Casa Pinoy
Crispy Isaw - AED 10

Mark's orders were Beef Pares and Kare-kare. We initially thought there was a mix up because we were served with what looks like lomi with beef innards, but apparently that's Casa Pinoy's version of Beef Pares. Truth be told, Casa Pinoy's Beef Pares may be different from the ones that I grew up with, but it was surprisingly good. Perfect to go with garlic fried rice.

There's that distinct beef pares taste that's made a bit extraordinary by the pungent flavors of the beef innards. The lomi noodles also added texture to the dish. Though I think I'd still go for the classic beef pares.

Beef Pares at Casa Pinoy
Beef Pares - AED 25

Being a Kare-kare lover, I was surprised when Mark didn't approve of this one. Well I guess he was right. I found the peanut sauce a bit on the sweet side, which is a no-no for me in a kare-kare. The beef tripe and ox tail were also not as tender as I'd love them to be. I had a hard time cutting through each piece even with a knife. It's good though that the veggies were not overcooked and I loved the shrimp paste that came with this dish.

Kare-kare at Casa Pinoy
Kare-Kare - AED 30

Staff was attentive, overly attentive, if I may add; which is a given since they know we were there for a review. He kept on engaging into small talks with us, which is okay, but kind of gets annoying when overly done. It would have been better if he just recommended what dishes to try.

Prices are okay, though I can't really say about the taste and quality, as I still have yet to try the rest of the dishes that they offer. But one thing's for sure, I would definitely come back for their isaw! :D

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CASA PINOYCasa Pinoy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Shop S01, Building R541-1
Al Wasl Hub, Al Karama
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
+971 (0)4 337 1652

We were invited by Casa Pinoy Restaurant and our meal was complimentary, but this post is not influenced nor paid for. Opinions on this blog post are my own.

All photos were taken with an iPhone 6S Plus.

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