Time Out Dubai is the definitive voice on Dubai's best restaurants, including Middle Eastern restaurants. Here's a guide to where to get the best MENA food.
Middle East and North African food has so much to salivate over: Lebanese mezze, Persian kebabs, and Moroccan meatballs are some of the must-have items of a MENA feast. Time Out has visited each and every restaurant to try regional specialties kibbeh, labneh and more, assessing factors including quality of food, ambience and service. Popular or relatively unknown, we’ve gone undercover to find out what you’re getting for your money at each venue.
This sophisticated restaurant presents modern Arabic food with flair. The colour scheme is all warm reds, black and gold, while burning fires in the background give the expansive eatery a welcoming feel. A saxophonist provides the subtle backing track of cool jazz and the food is simply outstanding. The hot and cold mezze offer an adventurous twist '“ think lobster kibbeh with fresh herbs and avocado labneh, crudités with truffle-scented labneh and hummus with honey-roasted parsnips. Save room for mains and dessert '“ dishes such as the sea bass with tahini, yoghurt and walnut and herb crumbs, and desserts including the orange blossom ‘cheesecake' (containing an almond and cinnamon crunch, baked white chocolate and a citrus sorbet) simply must be tried.
After a day of shopping at Wafi, this is a great place to unwind and dine. The restaurant offers the full gamut of Middle Eastern cuisine, from Lebanese, Persian and dishes from the Gulf to Egypt and Moroccan. The Persian sajeit shrimps starter bursts with the garlic, onion, coriander and chilli flavours it's marinated in. Mop up the juices with the freshly-baked fluffy breads. The Moroccan tagine berbere should also not be missed. Wash this all down with a subtly sweet sugar cane juice, which comes highly recommended by staff and for good reason since it's utterly refreshing. Khan Murjan is certainly worthy of repeat visits to try this restaurant's wide ranging regional menu.
Set within the opulent surrounds of Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Lalezar fits in well. The restaurant is decked out in shades of brown, cream, white and of course, gold, giving it a regal finish. The outdoor terrace is also a pleasant spot to dine when the weather permits. But it's not all about looks at this stunning venue. The menu is authentic Turkish and everything is prepared to perfection. Waiters also know the menu well and are happy to pick out their favourites, the classics and the restaurant's specialities. The iskender kebab comes highly recommended and does not disappoint. The meat is tender and the entire dish bursts with flavour. The seafood platter is also fresh and perfectly grilled. This is an all-round gem of a Turkish restaurant.