Baskets of fresh herbs, nuts and vegetables are a nice touch on arrival, as are the flatbreads, handmade by the chefs through the glass walls of the open kitchen 4 Reviews
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From Time Out Dubai Eating Out 2007
You’ll struggle to find a more picturesque setting than Dubai Creek and strolling through a labyrinth of candlelight and marble isn’t bad either. The Park Hyatt’s Arabic eatery boasts both features and raises hopes from the outset. The restaurant is like stepping into Ancient Greece, with marble platforms surrounded by towering pillars. It’s pleasing, if slightly confusing considering the decor, to see the menu offering Syrian, Turkish and Jordanian mezze as alternatives to the inevitable Lebanese.
Baskets of fresh herbs, nuts and vegetables are a nice touch on arrival, as are the flatbreads, handmade by the chefs through the glass walls of the open kitchen. The cold mezze buffet initially doesn’t disappoint; standouts being chilli-infused aubergine, Syrian stuffed peppers and a range of sweet and light cheeses. Yet it’s tough to work out what the less obvious dishes are – lists on the menu or labels at the buffet would be welcome additions for those not familiar with Arabic food. The ras asfour – a generous portion of lamb fillet in lemon butter – makes sure the hot mezze holds its own. The succulence of the meat can’t be faulted. The yoghurt-marinated chicken shish taouk bil laban and the pine nut and minted lamb kibbeh are also worth a try, but tend to be swimming in so much oil that even the thick base can’t deal with the flood.
If there’s room for dessert, the juicy wedges of melon and creamy, crumbly cheesecake can help redeem any previous disappointments. It’s refreshing to find an Arabic restaurant that aims to offer authentic alternatives to Lebanese cuisine. But the service should be a lot better than it is.
On Time Out’s most recent visit, a waiter took a personal phone call on his mobile halfway through serving us our main courses. So for somewhere that promises so much at the start, it’s a shame that Arabesque’s hit-and-miss food and inattentive service struggles to provide the perfect ending.
By Time Out Dubai Staff
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