There is no shortage of Lebanese food in this city, so much so that we introduced a category especially for the cuisine in this year’s Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards. But that’s not to say we don’t get excited when a newbie sets up in town.
Abyat serves traditional cuisine in a less traditional setting – nestled in between Italian and Ethopian eateries in the trendy new(ish) Club Vista Mare.
Next to some of the other venues on the waterfront stretch, the interiors of Abyat aren’t overly welcoming, with bright lighting and a canteeny feel. Outside is, of course, much more inviting, with views stretching across the water and a chilled-out vibe.
We opt for a mix of dishes from the extensive mezze menu.
The hummus is smooth, flavoursome and neatly presented – dotted with chickpeas and parsley – and the stuffed vineleaves are packed with a tangy rice filling.
Our halloumi salad comes with decent chunks of our favourite squeaky cheese and mounds of lettuce, but the “figs” translate to fig slice, singular, in reality.
Everything is nice enough, without being particularly outstanding. We might be drawn back by the delightful setting, but for Lebanese food, we’re sadly not wowed. There are plenty of other options in the city that will do just that.
The bottom line Picturesque setting outshines the food.