It must be hard to make a Lebanese restaurant stand out in Dubai. How do you do it?
Our ingredients are very fresh, imported directly from Lebanon, and our authenticity is unparalleled. But what really sets us apart is the level of service we offer. We’re also the only Lebanese restaurant at DIFC, which is an advantage.
What are some common misconceptions about Lebanese food?
People often say Lebanese food is heavy and filling, but it’s not really. It’s just that it’s so good you can’t get enough of it. But really, it’s made up of a lot of salads and fresh vegetables. Also, there’s the misconception that beef is the most common meat used in our cooking, when really it’s lamb.
Why is the restaurant called Al Mandaloun?
Al Mandaloun refers to an architectural arch in traditional Lebanese homes. We’re trying to convey a similar sense of timelessness with our food.
What’s your best-selling dish?
Mouloukhieh, which is meat and chicken served with rice, and adorned with a dash of onion drizzled in vinegar. This is possibly the oldest recipe in the book. It’s very popular with western and Arab expats alike.
What’s the best dish on the menu?
Our glazed fish. It’s nice and garlicky, and comes with a side of fattoush. You know, I try to keep a balanced diet, so I have breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a peasant. Or at least I try to, but with such an array of exquisite food, it’s quite hard to live up to the motto.
What are the advantages to your DIFC location?
Our location lets us serve an international spectrum of clientele. Al Mandaloun is also the only Arab restaurant located in the centre, so people can relax with a shisha after work, catch up with colleagues and friends, have a hearty dinner and then go home fulfilled and content.
Al Mandaloun, DIFC (04 363 7474). Open 7am-12 midnight daily.