With any new mall comes new places to eat, and so it is with The Mall, which opened earlier this year opposite Jumeirah Beach Hotel. What stands out with this particular shopping spot is that its eateries are mostly home-grown, quirky and independent.
Ayam Elezz ticks all of those boxes and has notched up the quirkiness to a new level. It’s kitted out with retro furniture and knick-knacks so it resembles a 1960s Lebanese home. Wonderfully mismatched, it provides a warming, welcoming atmosphere. Record players, televisions and telephones from the era are dotted around the dining room and terrace, and with such friendly greetings from the staff, we can’t help but feel at home ourselves.
The menu features traditional dishes that will fill those who grew up in Lebanon with pangs of nostalgia. Thanks to the popularity of Lebanese food in Dubai, it’s also a menu that most people will know their way around. Filled with grills, breads, salads and cold and hot mezze, the food is familiar, but in no way is it boring.
Our house hummus, which comes with a deliciously fragrant addition of cumin and vegetables, is a standout, and the kibbeh, baked like a pie and topped with walnut, is also a hit. The fresh bread is top-notch and helps us devour our favourite dish of the meal, the muhammara – red pepper and chilli, sweetened by pomegranate molasses and topped with crunchy walnut.
Another winner is the minced-lamb kebab – juicy, tasty and served with fries, tomato and onion.
We skip dessert due to filling up on the fantastic bread, but seeing some good-looking kunafa delivered to the table next door, we make a promise to ourselves to try it next time.
The Bill (for two) 1x hummus Ayam Elezz Dhs25 1x muhammara Dhs25 1x sujuk Dhs32 1x kibbeh sajayah Dhs35 1x kebab orfali Dhs47 1x large local water Dhs12 Total (excluding service) Dhs177
The bottom line Relaxed Lebanese hospitality and food.