Restaurant awards lebanese
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.
Al Nafoorah has long been a byword for luxurious Lebanese dining in Dubai. This culinary gem shining bright in the heart of Jumeirah Emirates Towers serves up an upscale feel that leaves its regional contemporaries in the shade. The regal décor – complete with chandeliers hanging proudly from the ceilings and eye-catching pictures adorning the walls–makes for a fantastic first impression. The warm and friendly service further enriches the experience and leaves us eager to explore a menu full of authentic dishes. The beautifully creamy hummus is perfectly complemented by the spicy kick of the hot pepper dip, mohammara, while the bite-sized lamb makanek sausages are a diminutive delight. With just enough room left for main courses, we dig into the lamb chops and the mixed grill, an assortment of tender and tasty treats including strips of beef and chicken. It is the finest exponent of the traditional platter that we have had the pleasure to devour. Al Nafoorah doesn’t reinvent the wheel when it comes to Lebanese food, but it does it better than anyone else.
Ayam Elezz is a Lebanese venue that has notched up the quirkiness to a new level. It’s kitted out with retro furniture and knick-knacks so it resembles a 1960s Lebanese home. Wonderfully mismatched, it provides a warming, welcoming atmosphere. Record players, televisions and telephones from the era are dotted around the dining room and terrace, and with such friendly greetings from the staff, you can’t help but feel at home.The menu features traditional dishes that will fill those who grew up in Lebanon with pangs of nostalgia. Thanks to the popularity of Lebanese food in Dubai, it’s also a menu that most people will know their way around. Filled with grills, breads, salads and cold and hot mezze, the food is familiar, but in no way is it boring. The house hummus, which comes with a fragrant addition of cumin, is a standout, and the kibbeh, baked like a pie and topped with walnut, is also a hit. The fresh bread is top-notch and helps us devour the muhammara – red pepper and chilli, sweetened by pomegranate molasses.
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