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Quick Bites: Chicken Mandi and Kunafa from Zam Zam Mandi

My love for cooking is an open book. While others have this penchant for reading, shopping, or hitting the gym, there's just this peculiar bliss that I feel every time I'm cooking or baking. But of course there are also times when I'm not in the mood to cook. And in times like this, Mark comes to the rescue.

Oh, no, no, no, he doesn't cook for me, I'd be the happiest if he did! :p But he makes up for his inability and tolerates my occasional laziness in cooking by ordering yummy food. Just like one time when he came home with these:

"Yay, biryani!" and  "Wow, kunafa!" were what I excitedly squealed when I unloaded the package. But my excitement was cut short when Mark corrected me. Apparently, it's not biryani, it's mandi. Oh, so they're different.

While biryani is an Indian dish, mandi is a traditional Yemeni dish. They both have rice, meat, and spices, but I guess what makes them distinct is the method of cooking. I'm no expert in either cuisines, so I will not dig into that. :p

Chicken Mandi
Chicken Mandi - AED 22
Mark ordered the Chicken Mandi, which is a half chicken on a bed of spiced rice. The chicken meat literally falls off the bone. It was fork tender, moist, and savory. Very much like the chicken biyani, I tell you, but this one's less spicy which I so loved.

The rice also didn't have much going on with it (unlike the biryani which sometimes even have cinnamon barks and star anise seeds) but it was surprisingly flavorful. It also came with plain yogurt, lettuce and lemons, and a sauce which resembles a tomato salsa that's less chunky. I love eating it with a dollop of yogurt and salsa. Yummy!

Kunafa - AED 12
Mark knows how a sucker I am when it comes to kunafa, but I guess he wasn't aware that kunafas have varieties too. Zam Zam's Kunafa has vermicelli which I'm a total fan of, however, they offer cream kunafa instead of cheese. It was okay, the vermicelli had that crisp, it also came with light syrup, but I still prefer that long stretchy cheese over the creamy one.

While the Kunafa didn't quite satisfy my cravings, I fell in love with the Chicken Mandi. Apart from the quality and taste, the serving is generous and it can be shared by 3-4 people. Mark and I just got to finish half of it that night and even had the other half for lunch the following day. A total steal for it's price!

ZAM ZAM MANDI RESTAURANTZam Zam Mandi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Opposite Zabeel Park Gate 3
Near Kalyan Silks, Al Karama
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
+971 (0)4 370 6777
+971 (0)50 996 6918
*Table booking recommended.

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