Labneh Wa Zaatar
Time Out Says
That something, the restaurant’s eponymous trademark dish, arrived soon after we took our seats – a quadri-plated appetiser of thick yoghurt cheese (labneh), thyme-centric herbal mix (zaatar), fresh salad, and wonderfully crisp savoury breadsticks. It was a delicious combination, but the main cause of our contentedness was not having to munch on the usual Lebanese restaurant pre-meal feast – shrivelled olives, near-rotting pickled carrots and an allotment’s worth of salad.
The rest of the meal was fairly good too. Our Dhs40 bought us a huge portion of creamy hummos in a fake-earthenware bowl; a plate of piping hot and gooey halloumi manakish; fattoush with too much oil and lemon juice; and juicy beef kebabs with strips of grilled aubergine. The limited décor is relatively stylish, with huge Buddha Bar-esque paintings hanging from the walls, but Labneh’s oft-published motto (‘More than just food’) rings a little hollow in such a bog-standard setting. The food is impressive enough – when it comes to Lebanese cuisine those lucky Dhiyafah dwellers are seriously spoilt for choice.
By Matthew Lee | 01 May 2005
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