The Shortlist

Leila
Nominated for Best MENA
2012_leila
© ITP Images

This popular spot is perennially packed, hosting diners of Middle Eastern descent as well as expats and tourists. Sit outside on the terrace on Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard; it’s where the atmosphere is, if you can get a seat. Service here is exemplary and staff are confident to recommend dishes based on your preferences and their favourites, such as the ghazal Beirut dessert of ice-cream covered in thin strands of hair-like sugar. The hot and cold mezzes are delicious as are the grilled meats. Try the kibbeh and the basterma cheese rolls, though, since these also contain meat, having them deep-fried can leave them a little on the greasy side. Opt to have them grilled instead. The grilled kafta is succulent, complemented perfectly by the accompanying labneh dip. Leila is a wonderful spot for authentic and deliciously moreish Lebanese cuisine served within a lively and vibrant setting.
Open daily 9.30am-11.45pm. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai (04 448 3384).

By Time Out Dubai staff

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