A walk down Dahab’s packed promenade will provide you with many similar dining options: all beachfront restaurants with lounge seats, bright paper lanterns and similar menus. We can’t blame them, though; after a long day of diving or windsurfing, flavour is rarely on your mind; you’re just hoping to pack on some calories.

Friends is one of those restaurants in Dahab with an overwhelming international menu. Avoid the international dishes, and focus instead on their fresh, high-quality and wallet-friendly seafood dishes.

The restaurant is located right by the water; if you can get a table by the waterside, you’ll be able to feed the fish – literally. The decor is low-key in nature with low tables and couches covered in traditional Bedouin pattern fabrics.

Once you’ve sat down and ordered some beers (ranging between 16LE to 25LE), the waiter will bring you a platter full of freshly caught seafood. You’ll be able to take your pick between the various catches of the day. Since they charge by the fish, not the kilo; make sure that you haggle pretty well or you’ll be fooled easily.

From the seafood platter, we chose a heavy-looking squid and decided for a half and half order of fried and grilled calamari. We also opted for a couple of jumbo shrimps to be grilled and a fresh singari-style Red Sea trigger to be oven-cooked with lemon, onions and potatoes.

Make sure to set a price for your selection before they take it away to be cooked – our whole order set us back around 400LE. However, the total price did include a collection of fresh salads and dips as well as rice, bread and some extremely tasty seafood soup.

The cooking doesn’t take too long and before you know it, you’ll be served your selection in a delightful and innovative makeshift foil platter. Don’t stare at it for too long, though; the food is divine and you’ll need to eat fast before your friends manage to finish it.

Your fish selection might also include dessert or tea; just make sure that you specify which you prefer, though; or they might sneak it onto your bill later. The service at Friends was adequate, but nothing to rave about; the waiters were prim and proper although one of them seemed a little upset with us for haggling too much.

‘Come as a guest and leave as a friend,’ are the words that read on this restaurant’s banner, but the general lack of atmosphere and average service left a lot to be desired in the realm of friendship.