Al Makan

The Madinat offers a picturesque setting for traditional Emirati cuisine Reviews

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© ITP Images

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

By Daisy Carrington
Time Out Dubai,

Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.

Details

  • Location: Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim, Dubai
  • Tel: 04 368 6593
  • Travel: Al Sufouh Road

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User reviews

ValueAmbienceService
DecorFoodOverall
  • Users voted this restaurant most suitable for: Family friendly

User reviews:

Posted by: mahdi solaani on 05 Jul ' 12 at 23:47
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: San a kausar on 14 Nov ' 11 at 12:58
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

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!

Posted by: San a kausar on 14 Nov ' 11 at 12:58
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

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!

Posted by: Amal on 10 Apr ' 11 at 11:25
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Excellent food, really fresh ingredients, Good local emirati dishes, excellent service
I am a fussy eater and these guys are very very good!

Posted by: Giuliano on 27 Nov ' 09 at 14:54
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

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