Restaurant Beirut

Late night snack stop on Diyafah Street

Time Out Says

Location, location, location – the three most important things in the property market according to estate agents, but seemingly it also applies to cheap Lebanese food past midnight. Beirut restaurant on Diyafah Street is, in many respects, pretty average. You get the things you’d expect from most cheap Lebanese restaurants: a bowl of unbelievably bitter olives, some diced pickles that taste of a barely-disguised malevolence towards culinary aspirations, as well as a bowl of raw, unprepared, vegetables.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way. You can also order raw meat to start but this doesn’t seem the place for such gastronomic Russian roulette. However, the lamb kibbah (Lebanese meatballs) is a solid performer that neither delights nor disappoints, but does its job.

Likewise, the Shish Tawook (chicken kebab) is so middle-of-the-road you wonder if that’s where they found the chicken, but it’s more than edible. The Beirut Special Grill is the one to go for with lamb, beef and chicken kebabs, onions and soggy chips on one plate and it’s a feast of artery-clogging wonderment. The beef kebab will never be called tender, even by the most razor-toothed carnivores, although their lamb is notably good and even the flies I was sharing it with seemed to enjoy it. These extra dinner guests weren’t a problem though, simply because here in the early hours, eating kebabs on the street just feels right.

For some people, the thought of sitting next to an incessantly busy road jammed with everything from mopeds to lorries belching out fumes, all impotently honking at stationary traffic is not something they’d pay for. The noise on this street, just like the Pierre Cardin sale, never ends.

But it works – because Diyafah Street is one of the few places in Dubai where you feel part of city life. You’re not in a hotel, or a sterile mall but there – on arguably the best street in town. A place where people walk, sit out on the pavement or just wander from shop-to-shop. On Diyafah Street you can get Dubai’s best shawarmas (from Al Mallah), the best pizza (from Pizza Company) and decent enough Beiruti food from a place with a little atmosphere. It may be a long way from perfect, but at two in the morning after a night out, perfection is a grey area at best.

Matt Pomroy

By Matt Pomroy  | 28 Apr 2008

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Dubai, Satwa, Ground Floor, Al Otaiba Building, Opp. Dune Center, 2nd of December Street - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

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