Lalezar

Top 5 Arabic Restaurants in Dubai

01 Jan 2014
By Ahlanlive.com

We list the best Middle Eastern cuisine in Dubai

Lalezar
Address:
Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai
Tel: 04 453 0444
Web: www.jumeirah.com
Dress code: Smart casual
Times: 3pm to 11pm, Sunday to Saturday; closed Wednesday
Price Range: $$$$
You’ll feel like you’re literally stepping into an Ottoman Aladdin’s cave at this wondrously grand, atmospheric haunt; big stained glass chandeliers, minutely detailed glassware, intricately patterned tiling, crescent-shaped silver placemats and dark woods aplenty,  specialising in Anatolian (aka Turkish) cuisine.  Plump vine leaves served with yogurt, imam bayildi (eggplant-encased lentils) and icli kofte (crunchy on the outside, moist minced beef and textured walnuts on the inside) are served up alongside the Turkish greatest hits in mains; think kebabs, chops and skewers aplenty. More unusual offerings include a delicate steamed sea bass and grilled halloumi with vegetarian moussaka.
FYI: Every last piece of decor for Lalezar has been specially imported from Turkey to give it that 100 per cent authentic vibe.
Signature Dishes: Lalezar in Mezelerinden (selection of hot and cold starters to share), lamb chops, sobiyet (homemade baklava with Turkish ice cream).

Na3 Na3
Address:
The Address Dubai Mall, Dubai
Tel: 04 438 8999
Web: www.theaddress.com/en/dining/na3na3-1
Dress code: Smart casual
Times: 6.30am to 11.30pm, Sunday to Saturday
Price Range: $$$
Those wanting to satisfy their Arabic food cravings at odd hours could do no better than to dash to Chef Hana Dib’s Na3 Na3. The hidden gem serves up a fulsome buffet-style feast for those ravenously hungry as well an a la carte option for those wanting more demure helpings. From a deceptively simple halloumi sandwich to fried red mullet to chicken shawarma, this restaurant caters for all. The floor to ceiling windows and 20ft waterfall set a contemporary stage while live cooking stations dish up sumptuous mixed grills, plump tiger prawns, piping hot zaatar saj and steam-filled, puffed-up pitas. The delicious Friday brunch is one of the best bargains in the city.
FYI: Have an early morning breakfast meeting and need a central location? Na3 Na3’s 6.30am opening ensures you have the perfect caffeine-filled start to the day.
Signature Dishes: Lahem bil ajin, kofta khashash, mango crème brûlée.

Al Nafoorah
Address:
Emirates Tower Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai
Tel: 04 319 8088
Web: www.jumeirah.com
Dress code: Casual
Times: 12.30pm to 4pm and 7pm to 12am, Sunday to Thursday; 1pm to 4pm and 7pm to 12am, Friday and Saturday
Price Range: $$$
One of the most famous venues in the country, Al Nafoorah deserves all superlatives bestowed on it by critics and locals alike for its authentic Lebanese food. The interior is unfussy with the emphasis very much on the food. Hot, constantly replenished baskets of pita bread are provided to scoop up creamy olive oil topped hummus, eggplant-filled moutabel, crunchy Arayes and traditional Fattoush. Steak tartare fans should try the local variation: kibbeh Nafoorah, made of bright pink raw minced lamb. Make sure you don’t miss the crispiest falafel in town either, served with a smooth tahini sauce or the fried kibbeh. The mixed grill is a carnivore’s dream; pieces of char-grilled lamb, shish taouk and minced kebabs.
FYI: Thanks to its royal patronage, Al Nafoorah’s fame has spread even further.
Signature Dishes: Hommous Beiruti, Arayes, AI Nafoorah muhalabiya.

Tagine
Address:
The Palace,The One & Only Royal Mirage, Al Sufouh, Dubai
Tel: 04 399 9999
Web: www.royalmirage.oneandonlyresorts.com
Dress code: Smart casual
Times: 7pm to 11.30pm, Sunday to Saturday
Price Range: $$$$
As you duck to enter the tiny doorway cut out of the enormous wooden gates that lead to Tagine, you get a taste of what Alice must have felt like when she unexpectedly wandered into wonderland; mystical, magical Marrakech has been transported smack-bang into Dubai. All the furnishings, the ingredients, even the wine and staff are all authentically Moroccan. Expert Fez-clad waiters discretely ensure your drinks are always topped up and then flamboyantly whisk silver lids off earthen dishes with a flourish. Those with illusions of grandeur should definitely opt for the Couscous Royal; delicate cous cous topped with pieces of tender lamb, chicken, and authentic spicy Merguez sausage. Massive portions mean that you could give starters a miss; but then you wouldn’t have the opportunity to try the mezze of fresh, crunchy mixed salads. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a glass of the smoothie-like Simply Arabic; a concoction of blended honey, milk and dates. Finish off with refreshing mint tea while leisurely savoring the sound of musicians filling the room with upbeat, traditional Arabic melodies.
FYI: Every decorative item in Tagine has been painstakingly sourced from Morocco.
Signature Dishes: Sweet tomato jam, Couscous Royal, Kenaffa.

Jetty
Address:
The Palace, One&Only Royal Mirage, Al Sufouh, Dubai
Tel: 04 399 9999
Web: www.royalmirage.oneandonlyresorts.com
Dress code: Casual
Times: 2pm to 1am, Sunday to Saturday
Price Range: $$$
There’s no better place to watch a sunset than this airy waterfront, nouvelle-Arabian chill-out spot with meticulously manicured gardens on one side and the vast azure Gulf on the other. Vistas of Palm Island Bay will have you in raptures while you peck at the platters featuring tapas-style, sharing-centric snacks and sip an expertly concocted cocktail (or three). The scene is definitely more important than the cuisine here; throw on that Melissa Odabash kaftan as this is as close to a Cafe Del Mar vibe as you’re going to get without booking a ticket to Ibiza.
FYI: The One&Only Royal Mirage is set amid over 60 hectares of gardens.
Signature Dishes: Far East platter, cheese selection, sweets featuring trifle, chocolate brownie, cheese cake and fruit.