We all know La Mer is a hugely family-friendly spot. From the super Laguna Waterpark, to the free beach and the many ice cream parlours and dessert shops, there’s heaps for everyone in your gang.
But if you’re looking for a stunning lunch, rather than a quick snack, we suggest making your way Levantine seafood restaurant Babel.
This might just be one of the most successful-ever imports of an established brand to the emirate. Brought over from Lebanon, where it has multiple branches, including along the swish Zaitunay Bay, this latest addition to La Mer is little short of brilliant. So fantastic, in fact, that it picked up Best Lebanese Restaurant at Time Out Dubai’s Restaurant Awards 2019.
And, rather significantly, astonishingly good value to boot.
Save this one for a lazy weekend lunch – a Friday or Saturday when you’ve hours to indulgently while away, and journey through a menu of mezze, salad and an abudance of fantastically fresh seafood.
The vibe is warm and friendly, and there are plenty of families when we dine. And even better, the food is sensational and the service superb.
Cold mezze arrives swiftly, salads exceptionally crisp and the hummus Beiruti packed with fresh mint, while puffed up, freshly baked breads provide a welcome accompaniment.
There’s not long to marinate in the tang of fattoush, however, before a piping hot plate of octopus à la provençale arrives and blows it out of the water.
Sliced into almost petal-like rounds, sautéed in an abundance of garlic and lemon, we’re instantly rendered as speechless as each tiny morsel is tender.
We’re not left with long to mourn the end of the dish, as two small Sultan Ibrahim arrive to prove the chefs here really know their way around seafood.Seemingly merely dusted in flour before being deep-fried, beautifully cooked flesh and crispy skin peel daintily away from the bones, and each is demolished without the need for so much as a squeeze of lemon.
A whole, charcoal-grilled sea bream confirms our theory that this is some of the absolute best Lebanese-style seafood you’ll find anywhere in the city.
Yalla – go now.
Open daily noon-midnight. Licensed. La Mer, Jumeirah 1 (04 419 0220).
WHAT IS IT...
Lebanese seafood restaurant beloved in Beirut
For fantastic fish (and value) by the beach