Cedar Tree

Cedar Tree serves lukewarm Lebanese fare in a non-descript setting Reviews

© ITP Images
  • Picture 1 of 2

The Marina View Hotel has always been something of an anomaly in terms of the restaurants it’s housed. First, it boasted a non-descript Italian that closed before we even had a chance to review it (though the poster-size images of the Coliseum, Leaning Tower of Pisa and Venice still remain). Now, in its place, there’s an equally non-descript Lebanese restaurant by the name of Cedar Tree, an ‘authentic Lebanese restaurant’ that serves, well, authentic Lebanese cuisine (ignoring the smattering of hotdogs and other seemingly un-Lebanese dishes). We spotted it was busy one evening, so resolved to review it as fast as we could.

We returned at lunchtime, so getting a table was easy and service was swift – two factors that instantly put me in good spirits – but my mood darkened at the arrival of flat bread in sealed plastic bags. I appreciate this is standard at many Lebanese restaurants, but there’s something sterile and unappetising about having to get to your bread via a plastic seal. What’s more, there was no harissa or any kind of dip to complement the bread. The warak enab (tomato wrapped in vine leaf) offered respite to the dry, wholly unappetising bread, providing a fresh (if not a tad slimy) contrast in texture and flavour. Before I knew it, my mains, the sayadieh bi samak, arrived at the table with a colourful accompaniment of fresh salad and a glass of fresh orange juice. The sight of three plump dumplings arranged neatly on a serene pool of what looked to be gravy, alongside a neat pile of rice with sesame seeds and crispy caramelised onions, was enough to make me lose interest in my vine-leaf parcels altogether. Cutting into the first dumpling I discovered white fish and (yet more) rice and pine nuts. My first forkful was abundant in flavour, though I was disappointed by the lukewarm temperature. The same can be said of the rice and pine nut side – the rice itself was bursting with an almost soy-like baharat and cumin flavour, and the pine nuts and caramelised onions offered a wonderful contrast in texture, though I couldn’t shake the feeling it had been pre-prepared and left sitting too long.

Since dessert options were limited, I called for the bill and eased back in my chair to take in Cedar Tree. Ultimately, it’s an unremarkable restaurant, but for passersby it holds potential for a quick-fix lunch or dinner… providing they heat the food up properly.

The bill (for one)
1x Warak enab
1x Fresh orange Dhs22
1x Sayadieh bi samak Dhs35
Total (excluding service) Dhs80

By Oliver Robinson
Time Out Dubai,

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


  • Location: Dubai Marina, Dubai
  • Tel: 04 457 1032
  • Travel: Jumeirah Beach Road

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

Cedar Tree On The Map

User reviews

  • Users voted this restaurant most suitable for: Family friendly

User reviews:

Posted by: Alexandra on 27 Jun ' 13 at 11:30
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

The food is below average. When asked a waitress about one of the dishes, she had no idea what it was made with. Even the coffee was bad.
For the same price there are so many better Lebanese restaurants in Dubai Marina.

Posted by: Motor city resident on 27 Apr ' 12 at 12:23

They really don't know how to pick up their phone at the motor city location.

Posted by: Meharyab on 12 Apr ' 12 at 11:10
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

One of the authentic Lebanese food. Service, Environment and Staff of Cedar makes it one of the best in town for Arabic food.

Posted by: Mustafa on 01 Apr ' 12 at 10:48
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

It's a new restaurant, but I think it shall be one of the best Lebanese restaurants in Dubai by time !

Posted by: Ramzi on 29 Mar ' 12 at 01:52
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

My first experience at Cedar tree was at Motor City. The food is always fresh and delicious. I regularly order take away daily dishes, it reminds me of my mom’s cooking ! Their mixed grills and other mezzas are always succulent.
Last week I went to their outlet at Marina View with friends, and it was sure the same genuine flavor.

Add your review/feedback

Your Rating (Min. 1 star, zero stars will be treated as unrated)
Yes No

Subscribe to Restaurants newsletter

Prove you're not a robot:



Explore by

Our favourite features