Another day, another hard to find food in Dubai.

I’d been clamoring to make this smoked mackerel pate that my aunt had made on new years eve since, well, 31st December (2 months at time of writing). I looked in Choithrams, Waitrose, Carrefour and no luck.


Eventually I looked around online and found a website called Fishbox which actually had 2 varieties of smoked mackerel – winner! The ordering process was OK and delivery was free which was great. If you do order from them then make sure you have the right cash. I ended up having to pay 33 AED in 1 dirham coins from my change tin because the delivery guy didn’t have any change. (Why delivery people go out without any money to deliver products for a website that only accepts cash is beyond me).

The mackerel was AED 15.75 and I ordered two packets which were slightly different weights – one around 140g and one 160g. So I’d say average it out to the price of 100 AED per kg. It’s about what I’d have expected to pay here for a good quality imported product.

The fish was amazing – very delicious. Almost to good to whiz up into a pate. The pate was yum too. The recipe will be up soon.


Right after ordering from Fishbox I was in Waitrose and found that they suddenly had smoked mackerel in stock! A packet was 44 AED and I noted that both the 2 packs they had in stock (only 2, so they are probably gone now, not to be back in stock for months) were around 280g. The UK website states that they are typically 300g per packet, so that puts the price at 146 AED per kilo. That’s £32 which is a FAR FAR cry from the £13 per kilo they sell it for in the UK. If you look at these English Muffins then perhaps we can start to see that Waitrose’s trend is to mark things up around 250% in Dubai (yes, I know it must be expensive to import all this food, but still it’s a huge difference).

Anyway, so now you know where to satisfy your smoked mackerel cravings and I strongly recommend ordering from Fishbox if you are able to wait a day or so for the delivery. And the happy ending to the story – I have a fabulous smoked mackerel pate coming soon…

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