Abdel Wahab

Great views help to make a new Lebanese stalwart 31 Reviews

abdel21510_1
© ITP Images

It’s always a good sign when a Lebanese restaurant is packed with locals. Such is the case at Abdel Wahab, the newest culinary hotspot to overlook the splendour of downtown Dubai. Like many other venues surrounding the fountain, the terrace (which has the view and the option to smoke shisha) was packed to the gills on our visit, while the much more sterile indoor space was only spotted with patrons. Unfortunately, I hadn’t made a reservation, so my date and I were relegated indoors.

The menu gave me mixed feelings. Sure, there were all the usual classics, and a few of my favourite, oft-overlooked mezze (dandelion greens, for instance), but there were several absent staples I was longing for. Tangy muhammara – a dip made from ground walnuts and dried peppers – was nowhere in sight.

We made do and ordered a round of my favourites, which came served with lovely fresh-baked pitta. I couldn’t find fault with anything we sampled. The aforementioned dandelion greens were vibrant, and came topped with a traditional sprinkling of crispy onions. Samkeh harra – a spicy fish dish served cold in a creamy tahini – was a delicate, intensely tangy version given added depth with a coating of roasted peanuts. The Lebanese sausage makanek came with the thinnest trace of pomegranate syrup, and while the meat was pleasant, it was a little underwhelming.

The least interesting of these openers was the fried kebbeh. Normally I adore these bulger dumplings, which ideally come stuffed with a well-spiced mixture of ground meat, onions and pine nuts. These versions were not bad, just a tad on the bland side.

We’d already ordered an awful lot of food for two people, so I decided to choose a single kebab for my date and I to split: the kafta ourfaliyyeh. This was a juicy, tender tube of ground lamb’s meat served alongside cooked peppers and tomatoes. Like most of what preceded it, this was a nice dish that caused no complaint. Yet it seemed there was something missing from our meal. It’s difficult to complain about enjoyable food; the only problem was that it didn’t quite transcend. It was all good, but none of it was exceptional or otherworldly.

The service was also a little mixed. While our waiter was incredibly sweet and chatty, asking us if we’d visited Beirut and engaging us in cheery conversation at every turn, he was at times forgetful. We never did get the dessert we asked for, which was just as well, given that we were full.

That said, Abdel Wahab still has much to offer. The food is decent, the view exceptional and the prices reasonable. This is a hard mix to find, and for that we commend it. We may even make a stopover the next time we’re in the area and have a hankering for a kebab.

The bill (for two)
1x Large bottle of water Dhs14
1x Chicory salad Dhs21
1x Samkeh harra Dhs67
1x Makanek Dhs28
1x Kebbeh Dhs24
1x Kafta ourfaliyyeh Dhs47
Total (service excluded) Dhs201

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 Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai, Dubai
  • Tel: 04 423 0988
  • Travel: Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard

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Abdel Wahab On The Map

User reviews

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  • Users voted this restaurant most suitable for: Family friendly

User reviews:

Posted by: Farah on 26 Apr ' 13 at 17:54
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  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

One of the best Lebanese restaurant in Dubai.

Posted by: Vik on 25 Mar ' 13 at 10:14
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Definitely one of the worst restaurants in UAE

Being a resident in UAE I have visited lots of restaurants in Dubai.
Abd El Wahab restaurant is HORRIBLE!!!!!!
FOOD IS TASTELESS!
PRICE IS HIGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
SERVICE IS EXTREMELY SLOW AND UNPROFESSIONAL!
I made reservation 1 month in advance in order to get table with view as we were celebrating birthday. They promised and of course we have got a table on terrace with no view to fountains!

Posted by: Anas on 29 Dec ' 12 at 11:19
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Defintely one of the worst in downtown.

I am a resident in Abu Dhabi & Dubai. Abd El Wahab restaurant is below average in Souq Qaryet Al Beri in Abu Dhabi and definitely terrible in Downtown Dubai. They should kick this restaurant out as plenty would be begging to take such a prime location and would deal much better with customers.

Posted by: Michael on 04 Jul ' 12 at 05:32
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  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Our first night in Dubai and our hotel recommended this restaurant. I was excited to have Lebanese food in Dubai!! Well to my surprise the service at this restaurant was really poor. My wife and I wanted to sit on the outside tables to get a better view of the fountain show and the waiter said that all the tables were reserved. If the tables are reserved then I have no problem but throughout our dinner from appetizers to the main course there were at least 5 empty tables on the outside that were not occupied. This was a little annoying.

Also we had to make several requests to place our order. The staff is not very attentive and have to say that they are on the rude and arrogant side. Now I was thinking, the food must be good if the restaurant can get away with such poor service but I have to say that the food was even worse. The starters like salad and hummus were fine. But the mixed grill and the chicken shish taouk was overcooked. The quality of meat was not very good and the chicken was tough and chewy. The lamb as well. It was chewy and tough. I have had much better Lebanese food in Dubai at Al Hallab, and Al Nafoorah. I don't get this restaurant at all? Bad food and bad service. The only redeeming thing is that the location is in Souk Al Bayar where you can watch the fountain show but you know what you don't have to be in the restaurant to watch the fountain show.

I would not recommend this restaurant to anyone. Seriously this restaurant is pretty awful.

Posted by: Seya on 23 May ' 12 at 13:19
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

This place was awful. To start with the food was mediocre to say the least. Service delivery was very poor and although we were a large number of people (over 20) it took them over an hour to serve the food. To top it all at the end when we finished dining we were approached by a rude waiter complaining why we left a bag at the reception (for which we had informed the receptionist at the beginning). Being over 20 people and spending a significant amount of money we were shocked to be treated with that type of customer service. We asked for the Manager and to our surprise the Manager was worse! He fully supported the waiter and in a very demeaning tone basically told us that if we don't like the customer service we should not come back. Never again would we ever dine at this restaurant.

Posted by: Robert on 15 May ' 12 at 15:47
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  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

simply one of the best everywhere !!!

Posted by: Yvonne on 01 May ' 12 at 08:41
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  • Best for: Brunch served
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

We brought a couple of friends to this place and I was soooo embarrassed afterwards. The service was awful. I found the waiters very rude and they took away plates while we were still eating. The view is good but doesn't really make up for the bad experience.

Posted by: mohamad on 19 Apr ' 12 at 15:37
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  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

i went there 2 months ago & since then i'm addicted to this place i go every week 4 or 5 times, they have a great terrace, food & shisha

Posted by: nabih on 31 Mar ' 12 at 11:00
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  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: Charbel on 31 Mar ' 12 at 10:02
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I have visited Mirdif several times with my family... I enjoyed the food and the overall experience was great !
Great food, great ambiance...

Posted by: Charbel on 31 Mar ' 12 at 04:15
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I have visited Mirdif several times with my family... I enjoyed the food and the overall experience was great !
Great food, great ambiance...

Posted by: FADI on 31 Mar ' 12 at 03:43
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  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

i was in Mirdiff last week, it was a great experience, food was great and service as well. the terrace seating is wonderful and the manager was so nice.
we can say: it was a GOOD experience

Posted by: Walid on 06 Feb ' 12 at 07:10
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  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

My family and I visited the Abdul Wahab's restaurant at Mirdif city center on Friday February 3, 2012at about 1.30 pm taking for granted the famous Abdul Wahab restaurant of Beirut but unfortunately it was absolutely bad in all sense. As a Lebanese citizen and knowing the taste of good lebanse food it was awful. Being with family we were squeezed into a 4 seats table where instead we saw one person seatied on a table of 8 seats so I asked and the waiter replied that he came first.
Food quality was bad, waiters were rude and see them most of the time in the corner smoking, service was too slow, the main course came before the mezzah than they realized it was for a different table. We ordered one daliy dish (rice and peas stew) for my son and it came after stugle cold. When I called on the manager to complain on all the above he was very rude and he replied that is the best we can do. So I got upset and requested the bill which it took another half hour to come luckily my wife told me to verify on the items we ordered and also unfortunalely the bill was inflated by 3 items of AED: 102 which we did not ordered. Need less to mention Correction took another long time. I do appreciate if any member of Abdul Wahab restaurant management is reading this observations to look into it and call me on 050-4481577. Also, I address this to the mirdif city center to look into it as totaly unaccepted.

Posted by: Hasan on 05 Feb ' 12 at 11:57
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Me and my wife went to the branch in Mirdiff City Centre, and there are no words to describe how truly terrible the service was.

We stood at the entrance for almost 10 minutes, and not one of the waiters or even the person in charge came over to ask us what we wanted. Then when somene finaly did come over I informed him that we wanted a table for too, and he was like yeah sure sit anywhere.

Then when I told him we wanted a booth, he had us wait for another 10 minutes while he was speaking to the person in charge, who told the waititer in a loud voice "Tell them the food will be late 30 to 40 minutes". I mean come on I'm standing right there, you can either address the customer in a proffessional manner or don't say anything at all.

We didn't bother to even eat there, and just walked out, because frankly the staff was completely unproffessional and had no manners what so ever.

Posted by: Sarah on 20 Nov ' 11 at 16:37
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Best view of the fountain, food was good, Shisha and alcohol all gave us a wonderful time. I agree though about the waiters. To be on the safe side and enjoy it all make sure you have booking before u go

Posted by: kamal on 13 Oct ' 11 at 17:33
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Disgusting very arrogant manager and not good staff.!!

Posted by: maisa on 22 Sep ' 11 at 11:23
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

I visited Mirdif branch, the manager treated us badly I fully agree with Husam and Nouf, it is the worst place to visit, it is humiliating their guests, all above reviews are true! the waiter asked us to leave even there was so many empty tables! that was so rude ..
very bad overprices food and service.

Posted by: husam on 02 Sep ' 11 at 20:38
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

OMG
I can not see why someone should go back to this resturant or why the government did not close it till now, I visited thier Mirdif centre branch and it was the worst experince in my life, people working there very snoby and the manager is an irrogant.
Please do not go there!!!

Posted by: Rome on 16 Jun ' 11 at 13:13
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Was here with a group last week, we had a set menu. The cold appetizers were great and so was the hot, I particularly liked the potatoes and chicken liver the only problem was we weren't done with the food yet the waiters were already clearing table for the next course, I mean, what's the rush, right? We're not soldiers! Food are made to be indulged and chewed properly.... Since we made a reservation outside to view the dancing fountain, we were all sweating really bad and needed something cold to drink every now and then but with service like what Abdel Wahab offers, you will get dehydrated first before you could have a drink.

Luckily, apart from the grilled food they have, the appetizers are good - so yes, I'm going to visit Souk Al Bahar branch again with prayers to be treated properly or else....

Posted by: Roba & Esmat on 02 Mar ' 11 at 17:22
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

all above reviews are true! the waiter asked us to leave even there was so many empty tables! that was so rude .. the view was amazing but about the service was very bad ..

Posted by: salem on 09 Feb ' 11 at 09:29
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

waiters unprofessional and very rude,and in the top of that overpriced

Posted by: Mohammad on 03 Feb ' 11 at 17:19
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Great location... Probably the best view for the fountain for any restaurant in the area. The food is pretty good. There is shisha served. It is definitely expensive, but worth going to at least once.

Posted by: Rayan on 05 Jan ' 11 at 05:01
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I visited the restaurent for Business dinner and we had a very pleasent experience. Although the service is a bit slow but this always happenes with corwded places.

I recommend this place and plan to go again with the family over the weekend.

Posted by: Mustafa on 23 Dec ' 10 at 19:58
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

I don't understand how anybody can afford to open such a business, and still lack the insight of hiring professional waiters. They are the interface between the customer and the restaurant. I guess their superior "I don't work for you" attitude with us was also a reflection of how the management set its priorities when they first opened this place. The food was old, and some was obviously recooked, and above all that PRICEY. I would be surprised if this place was still open next year. Note to the waiters who were senior executives in other lives: learn some humility, its handy, and just might take you beyond waitressing someday. Will never recommend this place to my enemies.

Posted by: Moza on 25 Nov ' 10 at 16:27
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Oh GOD!
service is awful! they served us 2 of 6 starters then all of a sudden BOOM the main course is served!! we had to talk to the waiter to please take it back and get all the starters then the main course should be served (STILL HOT)! seriously!! were we there to teach them how to do their job? besides they served the main course again!!! before serving all the starters and it was COLD!
such a bad experience! and the food was tasteless!!

Posted by: noor on 04 Aug ' 10 at 06:00
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Awful experience! The service was terrible, food wasn't great. Never recommending this place.

I went with my family (7 persons),. We asked to be seated outdoor (this was during march), they promised once a table be available that they would move us, and that it should take no more than 30 mins. During this time we decided to order. Drinks came, then appetizers, then main course, and still no sign of a table outside. After we were done we discovered there were several tables available outside. It was too late to do anything about the situation, The Fountain had already closed, which was the main reason for sitting outside.

Posted by: khaled on 12 Jun ' 10 at 07:23
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  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I disagree with Nouf, all staff and managers are very friendly, I understand sometimes when it’s busy and fully booked outside they can’t do much about it except offering a table for a certain time, it happened with us once, and it can happen again if you don’t reserve.
Food is amazing; you should try the shish taouk, the meat skewers very tasty and tender.


Posted by: Mohamad on 09 Jun ' 10 at 12:21
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Posted by: Zakaa on 07 Jun ' 10 at 11:22
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

no value for money and the food quality was below average

Posted by: Nouf on 11 May ' 10 at 12:40
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

The restaurant is perfect only during the day when they don't have much crowd, but once the peak time comes closer they start treating people like "who's gonna pay more", screening comers in a way of accepting the biggest order, and staff is really unpleasant, their way is so unprofessional and rude.
we were 3 persons, only for light dinner & shisha, they gave us a table, demanding that they need it after 90 mins, asking "please make sure u re done by 90 mins"!! i couldn't believe it! after that they took a look at the order and apologized for not being able to host us.. "the bill wont be big enough"!
Bad place, humiliating their guests.. I'd never go again to this restaurant.. nor my friends..

Posted by: Lama ahmad on 16 Feb ' 10 at 10:30

Great review, as if the writer was with us :) all the comments are true, especially about the waiter...They are all soooo sweets, but they easily forget your food and chat !

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