Where: The Dubai Mall, Dubai, UAE (exact location here)
When: 30th May 2016 – dinner
Style of food: Lebanese Armenian
Style of restaurant: A good, clean, stylish restaurant.
Why: I wanted my friend to experience some authentic Arabic food while we were in the Middle East.
A friend of mine came to visit me in the Middle East and we both thought Dubai would be the perfect spot to meet up. I flew in from Riyadh and he took the long and slightly boring flight with BA to get him into Dubai at the same time as me on Thursday night. For me Dubai is a very liberal place where men and women can meet in public, women don’t have to wear abayas and you can find anything and everything you might ever need. For him it was an insight into the culture I have been experiencing since I arrived in Saudi. The smallest snippet of an interesting insight. We had high hopes for Dubai and in many ways we weren’t let down, but find out more here.
What I really want to write about is this super awesome restaurant in the Dubai Mall that we found, and were not let down by! Zaytoni is a Lebanese Armenian restaurant with a menu that doesn’t send you running in horror. It was set up in a clear, ordered manner, with cold dishes, hot dishes, sandwiches etc so we could easily decide what we wanted.
I order for us, as I wanted my friend to get a good sense of the food. Our order:
Unlimited pita (to see me attempt at pita, click here!)
Grilled mushrooms, peppers, and tomato with halloumi
Fried stuffed olives with cheese
Service: The service was superb. I like to ask questions about the food and see what each waiter knows and what they would recommend. The waiter did not let us down. He explained what was in each dish and commented on any changes we might like to make.
Food: We loved most of the food. The baba ghanoush was very garlicky, which we liked. Everything was well cooked and absolutely delicious. It was to cheesy for both of us, and we would have preferred the meat version of kibbah, but that means we can go back and try it again!
Favourite part: Well, apart from the company of my friend, I would say the whole of the cold mezze was both of our favourites.
Can be improved: The hot mezze! I know the mezze is just a small taste, in essence a little snack or appetiser, but I wish it was better. The best part was the grilled mushrooms, peppers, tomato and halloumi, but I think something like shawarma, or manti and some meat kibbah instead of cheese kibbah. However, that’s just personal preference.
Returnability: Would we go back to this restaurant? Sure! The waiters were excellent and the food was delicious!
Have you eaten here? Did you like it as much as we did? Why or why not?