Al Makan

The Madinat offers a picturesque setting for traditional Emirati cuisine

Al Makan
When the opportunity arose to sample true local dishes in one of Dubai’s prettiest locations, I jumped at the chance. Well-established and situated in the heart of the tourist-friendly Madinat Jumeirah, Al Makan is one of those spots you’ve probably wandered past numerous times without ever realising it offers authentic local food.

I kicked things off with yarish soup, a combination of crushed wheat and vegetables that tasted strangely comforting and homely. It wasn’t quite the foreign experience I was expecting – I could have easily pictured it coming from my own mother’s kitchen. My date, meanwhile, ordered the Al Makan salad, which turned out to be a basic mix of fresh tomatoes and garlic, spring onions and olive oil. While it was light and refreshing, it was also a dish we assumed was from the Mediterranean, rather than the Emirati section of the menu.

So far, no surprises, and we headed curiously onto the mains. We opted for the chicken biryani (the more exotic-sounding arayssia chicken was off the menu) and the faga fish. Each came with ladles of yellow rice and carrots, with both the chicken and hammour served breaded. While the fish was a little chewy, the chicken was juicy and tender. Both dishes, however, were actually most notable for their simplicity.

Perhaps the desserts would be more of a revelation? I opted for khabeesa, a sizzling mix of cooked nuts and brown sugar that was startlingly sweet, if a little dry. My date bravely dipped into the aseedat bobar, a pumpkin puree laced with cardamom which, though rather unusual in both texture and colour, was a pleasant, gooey surprise.

Al Makan’s setting is stunning. It is nestled near the Burj al Arab and the Madinat Amphitheatre, and positioned soothingly near a bubbling fountain. The service is also extremely attentive, and the waiters are happy to recommend. While the Emirati dishes aren’t astounding, the restaurant is both reasonably priced and scenic – a combination that’s rare for anywhere serving local food. For those bent on filling up on national dishes, Al Makan makes a sweet spot in which to do it.

The bill (for two)
1x Yarish soup Dhs22
1x Al Makan salad Dhs24
1x Chicken biryani Dhs48
1x Faga fish Dhs52
1x Khabissa Dhs14
1x Assidat boubar Dhs16
Total (excluding service) Dhs176 Al Makan
5 1

By Daisy Carrington | 23 November 2009

Location: - Umm Suqeim - Dubai
Tel: 04 368 6593
Travel: Al Sufouh Road
Cuisine: Arabic, Middle Eastern
Experiences: Shisha, Outdoor seating
Times: Open daily 8am-1am
Price range: Dhs50-199
Credit Cards Accepted: Yes

Is this your establishment? Want to update any details? Please send your updates here

Al Makan on Map

  • San a kausar Nov 14, 2011 12:58 pm
    Would you go back to this restaurant?
    Best for:
    Decor
    Service
    Food
    Ambience
    Value
    I love this place, and you must try the arayees, the mixed grill, and their fatoosh salad! I have tried these dishes in many places, but this is where I go when I have guests that I don't want to disappoint!
    Also the Karakoram tea was fantastic!
  • San a kausar Nov 14, 2011 12:58 pm
    Would you go back to this restaurant?
    Best for:
    Decor
    Service
    Food
    Ambience
    Value
    I love this place, and you must try the arayees, the mixed grill, and their fatoosh salad! I have tried these dishes in many places, but this is where I go when I have guests that I don't want to disappoint!
    Also the Karakoram tea was fantastic!
  • Amal Apr 10, 2011 11:25 am
    Would you go back to this restaurant?
    Decor
    Service
    Food
    Ambience
    Value
    Excellent food, really fresh ingredients, Good local emirati dishes, excellent service
    I am a fussy eater and these guys are very very good!

Add Your Comment

Sign in

Your Rating (Min. 1 star, zero stars will be treated as unrated)

  • Treehouse
    Restaurants

    Treehouse

  • Pantry Café
    Restaurants

    Pantry Café

  • Borgo Vecchio
    Restaurants

    Borgo Vecchio

    Latest Borgo Vecchio review, deals, contact details and opening hours. Discover the Italian menu, an...

  • Aubaine Restaurant
    Restaurants

    Aubaine Restaurant