Ask anyone who has spent their childhood in Dubai about the ‘Oman Chips Sandwich’ and their face will light up, in the way that only a childhood memory can. Dubai kids have spent years looking for and mapping out those select cafeterias that sell it, and quite often it’s not even on the generic burj-al-arab-milkshake menus that all cafeterias have some sort of secret access to. You just need to know about it. Or ask about it. Or follow a Ferrari with a double digit number plate to it. It is the national sandwich of the UAE.
The only people who haven’t heard of this magical sandwich are those who haven’t been in Dubai long enough, but us Dubaians are quick to fix that.
And then there are those whose potato chip loyalties lie with the other chips legend, Sohar (incidentally also from Oman).
But Chips Oman has reigned supreme and a car dinner with old friends outside a cafeteria with Chips Oman Sandwiches and Karak Tea has served as the perfect backdrop for revisiting childhood memories. So, as a Dubai kid, I have watched with growing incredulity as restaurants come up with their own versions of the Oman Chips Sandwich. As good as it all tastes (its Oman Chips and cheese, you couldn’t go wrong if you tried), I feel like it’s an invasion of our simple childhood pleasures. A commercialization of our nostalgic connection to it. How does a 50 fils packet of chips with cheap processed cheese translate into a 30 Dhs meal?!
Here are some of the ridiculous, overpriced (and sometimes actually creative) versions that have popped up recently:
- As a gourmet chips & cheese crepe. With a SALAD on the side. Are they trying to be ironic?
2. As a waffle topping. For a whopping 35 Dhs! That too at a Global Village stall, so it’s not like you’re paying for the experience. Unless braving a 10 minute line and being served in a flimsy plastic box is the experience you’re looking for.
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3. In khameer (Emirati bread). Well, I can’t really criticize these guys, it’s their national dish so if they want to stuff it in traditional bread instead of a malbari porotta, I wouldn’t hold it against them. Also it is an extremely reasonable 8 Dhs per freshly baked piece.
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4.As a sambosa filling… really? You’re frying something that’s stuffed with fried potatoes? They pull it off though, cause like I said before, it’s hard to go wrong with it. But the whole point of stuffing it in bread is the marriage of soft and crunchy textures. and that to me is more appealing.
5. IN SUSHI? That is just pure genius.
All day..all night..Cheesy Chips Oman ??? #Repost @almahaaaaa with @repostapp. ・・・ . ↪ A new explosion of 'Sushi mixed up with 'Chip Oman' & cheese – sooo delicious #highlyrecommended ??? =============================================== Restaurant ↔ Moshi @moshiuae Location ↔ opp Citymax hotel, behind MOE, al Barsha Food ↔ Cheesy Chips Oman Price ↔ AED 21 Rating ↔ 9/10 Comments ↔ for #chipsomanlovers ➡ don't miss out .. =============================================== #momosushi #moshiuae #moshi #sushi #sushiart #sushilovers #chipsoman #chipsomansushi #food #instafood #foodporn #foodart #foodgarnish #garnish #art #zomato #zomatouae #Dubai #mydubai #instadubai ? ملاحظه : .. ✔ طريقه مبتكره ل #سوشي ⬅ جبن و #شيبس_عمان .. ✔ لذيييييييييييييذ جدا مايفوووووووووت ?/? .. ✔ لمحبي سوشي وللعشاق شيبس عمان ..
It’s not just the fact that there are so many variants. I’m all for choice. But do most people realize that they’re paying between 15-35 Dhs for a filling that, even with an entire bottle of dakoos (hot sauce) costs less than 3 Dhs? And takes all of a minute to make? You know what, here is a recipe straight from the authentic source of the sandwich itself, the Malbari cafeteria. You’re welcome.
Have you ever wondered though, what Oman makes of all this? I mean here is a snack claiming to be UAE’s unofficial national dish and it’s called the OMAN chips sandwich. But we never bother looking into that connection. Or worry about Oman’s feelings. I mean if you stole something of mine and passed it off as yours, I’d be Oman-chip-red with rage. We have quietly ignored the origins of the chips, and we are now proudly parading a million versions of a dish that is supposedly an Emirati tradition. But the Omanis are neither fooled, nor amused.
Read the rest of the indignant article here, and spare a thought for those poor Omanis next time you’re stuffing your face with the latest pretentious version of our beloved chips sandwich.