For Middle Eastern cuisine that draws from Uzbek, Caucasian, Armenian, Georgian, European and Middle Eastern influences, City Walk’s Eshak is just the right spot.
The restaurant’s Choyhona concept is inspired by the rich culture of the Silk Route, marked with homely touches, generous portions and friendly, attentive service. Star dishes include kebabs, lamb dumplings and desserts including baklava and chak-chak.
We go for the adjar khachapuri, a crispy puff pastry “boat” with rich sulguni cheese and egg yolk – and a soujouk plate to add some tanginess to the meal.
We also try the truffle khinkali, steamed dumplings stuffed with everyone’s favourite subterranean delicacy.
The food is consistently good, with simple-yet-authentic dishes served on beautifully-decorated plates.
For dessert, try the asal cake – a Russian classic made with honey, vanilla cream and berries.
Eshak is a cosy-yet-chic restaurant with well-decorated interiors, al fresco dining at one of Dubai’s most-loved destinations and solid food that will take you on a journey to discover some dishes you wouldn’t have otherwise tasted.
All in all, you’ll want to visit –at least for the khachapuri.
WHAT IS IT...
A mish-mash of Middle Eastern cuisines
To try something new. Have you tasted khachapuri before? Now you can
If you’re looking for a Lebanese restaurant for a treat-worthy meal, look no further than Al Nafoorah at Jumeirah Emirates Towers. The menu is executed with flair, and this regal eatery is a worthy winner for the second consecutive year in this category.
Dining at Al Nafoorah comes with a real sense of occasion. There’s always a decent buzz to the place, even at lunch.
Service is sharp and attentive, but not overbearingly so, so while you’re never waiting for your water glass to be replenished, you’re not smothered, either.
Dishes are classic – from mezze to grills. All the staples are on there, from fattoush to moutabel, via some tasty sambousek. Our main advice? Don’t miss the hummus. It’s some of the dreamiest and creamiest in the city.
Meats are simple, but special, cooked on a charcoal grill for an unmistakable flavour. Dishes are never overcomplicated, and as such, Al Nafoorah is a great example of how simplicity can be genius.
Serving up fantastic Lebanese dishes, this restaurant is hard to fault, and there’s a second luxurious venue at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray on the Palm, too.
It may be more expensive than your average Lebanese, but it’s definitely worth pushing the boat out.
Famed for its superb baked goods as much as its charming, mismatched garden, Al Falamanki is one of the highlights of Dubai’s casual Lebanese dining scene.
Set on the side of Jumeirah Beach Road, with high walls that keep out the growl of traffic and keep in the strains of classic Levantine music, the scents of fresh saj and fruity shisha draw diners in off the street. Established in Beirut, the restaurant thinks of itself as a haven of tranquillity in a busy city – and it absolutely lives up to that aspiration.
Take a seat on one of the jumbled assortment of lounge chairs dotted around the lush patio and dive into house specialities including the excellent hummus Hachim-style, packed with pine nuts and chunks of chickpea, and draped with a spicy, bright green Jordanian sauce. Those aforementioned pastries, meanwhile, include a spicy akkawi cheese, and a house kofta recipe, plus lighter saj options. It’s the tangy, charred taouk skewers, however – among the absolute best we’ve eaten anywhere in the city – that really knock it out of the park.
We’ll be back, time and time again.
The bottom line
Low-key and utterly delightful in every way.
When you go dining at Al Hallab, try to bag a spot on the terrace – or at least a prime window seat – so you have views of the Dubai Fountain. The restaurant, covered in a grand gold and silver décor with chandeliers hanging high and dark wood dining tables, has an unmistakeable air of sophistication and staff are smartly dressed and eager to assist.Grilled meats are a firm focus of the menu and we are not left disappointed by the mixed grill tawouk, which showcases lamb, chicken and kebab meat on a soft pitta bread and is complemented well by a sharp yoghurt side. For those with a sweet tooth, save room for the generous selection of Levant desserts. The Ward Al Sham, a baked filo pastry filled with fresh cream to provide a cooling contrast, ends the meal on a high. While Al Hallab has a fine dining feel, the good value dishes will please your wallet as well as your palate.
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