Idyllic location, but can the food impress as well? 3 Reviews
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Allow yourself plenty of time to find this open-air restaurant. It’s difficult to locate, and not even the neighbours seem to know where it is. But, just as importantly, it’s a shame to rush the search for your meal table, as Bastakia is such a charming and atmospheric district and a joy to stroll through, particularly in the early evening.
Bastakiah Nights occupies a former courtyard house and has been simply decorated with rugs and low lighting evocative of The One Thousand And One Nights. As a restaurant it’s aimed unashamedly at tourists, with high prices and (on our dinner visit) a limited-choice set menu of broad-brush Middle Eastern favourites.
Starters? The usual roll-call of hummus, tabouleh and so forth; lowest common denominator tourist food, and carelessly made. Our waiters were unable to give us any useful dish descriptions; the written menus would have been more useful, though these were whisked away on ordering.
But it was the main courses that were the biggest disappointment. The dish described as zereshk polo, which is an Iranian pilau/pilaf dish with barberries, had a top layer which had been dyed yellow but we could detect no trace of the promised saffron. A vegetarian dish was a leaden wodge of pan-fried spinach and not much else at all. The savoury dishes were, at best, lacklustre.
The setting is beautiful, and this is a fabulous destination restaurant for taking visitors – who will doubtless be smitten by the atmosphere. But if you also want to savour the local food, look elsewhere.
2x set menu (choosing from four appetisers, six main courses and one dessert) Dhs296
1x large water Dhs15
Total (excluding service) Dhs311
By Guy Dimond
- Previous reviews
- 26 March,2011- reviewed by Time Out Dubai staff
- 06 April,2010- reviewed by Time Out Dubai staff
- 30 March,2009- reviewed by Time Out Dubai staff
- 26 March,2008- reviewed by Jeremy Lawrence
- 12 March,2007- reviewed by Time Out Dubai Staff
- 27 April,2006- reviewed by Time Out Dubai
- 15 February,2006- reviewed by Matthew Lee
- 01 May,2005- reviewed by Matthew Lee
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