Tasty Levantine comfort food at Dubai Marina
Mom’s Food had been taunting me for some time. Every morning, on my way to work, and every evening on my way home, I’d see it, almost open but not quite. The tease, one well-informed reader called to tell me, was to do with the premises being forced to wait for its gas licence. And then, without warning, Mom’s Food was open for business, serving home-style Lebanese dishes.
It was easy to deduce from the photocopied menu that Mom’s Food was still very much in its soft-opening stage when I visited, but the venue looked impressive nonetheless. It boasts a large outdoor seating area, perfect for puffing on shisha (if that’s your thing), while inside is clean and bright, with floor-to-ceiling window and homely appointments. The cream walls contrast nicely with the solid, dark-wood furniture, while the open kitchen boasts a handsome bread oven and two meaty kebab skewers.
Unlike the many sweaty kebabs skewers around town, the chicken and lamb on each of these looked fresh, juicy and appetising, which is what induced me to order the hummus with chicken. I was expecting a
bowl of hummus punctuated with the occasional piece of poultry, but what I got was a creamy bowlful of hummus, piled high with hot, fresh chicken slices. This, combined with the glorious warm Arab bread, would have been a hearty meal in itself, though wanting to sample as much of the menu as my stomach would allow I supplemented this simple yet utterly delicious starter with fried potato pieces spiced with coriander and chilli, as well as the baked lamb arni, as per the waiter’s recommendation.
The fact that I was already full of hummus and chicken meant the latter two dishes were already at a disadvantage, so it’s credit to their quality that I managed to gobble up as much as I did. The potatoes, albeit a little too salty, were served hot, crispy and bristling with flavour thanks to an astute sprinkling of chilli and coriander. In contrast, the lamb arni was rather bland. However, the slow-cooked, almost gamey meat fell off the bone marvellously. If I’d been hungrier (I cursed the waiter for recommending it – it was served with yet more potatoes, as well as broccoli carrot and onions), I’d have probably enjoyed it more than I did, but it was rather bland in comparison to the spicy potatoes.
The meal was washed down with a fresh pomegranate juice from the restaurant’s juice bar – a sweet, refreshing finish to a meal that makes me think Mom’s Food will receive enthusiastic patronage, if only for the delectable mezze dishes.The bill (for two)
1x Hummus with chicken
Dhs301x Spicy potato
Dhs201x Oven-baked arni
Dhs501x Pomegranate juice
Dhs22Total (excluding service)
By Oliver Robinson
17 April 2012
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