Dubai, being our second home for more than 3 years now, has opened our palates into different cuisines. One of which is the Middle Eastern cuisine which Mark and I have already come to love. That is why we were more than delighted when we got to indulge in an Arabian gastronomic adventure a couple of weeks back at Al Maeda Restaurant.
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It's a lush Lebanese restaurant located in Double Tree by Hilton Jumeirah, JBR. You'll immediately notice how traditional meets contemporary in the restaurant's atmosphere.
It has a combination of traditional Middle Eastern ambience—evident with the ethnic patterns covering the floor, walls, and ceiling; wooden furnitures and fixtures; and traditional lamps and kettles—coupled with elegant contemporary pieces.
|I love this part of the restaurant! It's an open kitchen where you can see how the chefs whip up your food.|
|Traditional meets contemporary!|
We chose a table at the outdoor terrace for a relaxed lunch. Guests can also have shisha here.
It was already summer time so the terrace was covered with makeshift tarp wall and air conditioning system during our visit. On nice weathers, they roll it up to make way for the beautiful view of the hotel's amenities and a glimpse of The Beach and Ain Dubai. Can't wait go back on winter for this!
We started our meal with some cocktails and cold and hot mezze. We had the Classic Lemon Mint Cooler and Qamardin Crush. Both drinks are refreshing, but I liked the latter more (it had a mildly sweet apricot base) as the former had too much acidity. Oh and they're using paper straws, too (Not sure if they're the biodegradable ones, though, but I hope they are!).
My personal favorite from the mezze was the classic hummus and of course, the Lebanese bread. The appetizers also included tabouleh, fattoush, mutabal and hot mezze—kibbeh, fatayer, sambousek.
A modern take on the classics, Al Maeda also serves Pistachio Hummus (which Mark adores! It's good but I guess I'm just an old soul so I'm still up for the classic one) and Beetroot Mutabal (now this one I like! Mildly sweet and tangy, yum!); the tabouleh also had a modern spin with the addition of shredded cabbage—perfect examples of "traditional meets contemporary".
|Trust me, I was ecstatic to see all this goodness! I’m just totally bad at posing for the camera. :p|
The Chicken Rotisserie with Oriental Rice was good—juicy and tender meat with skin that’s still crisp (it actually reminds me of the famous Filipino restaurant which specializes on chicken)—but I have to give it up for the rice! Think of beef chao fan sans the veggies, with a hint of Arabian spices. Yum!
I enjoyed watching the white chocolate dome melt as the warm strawberry coulis was poured over it, exposing the cheesecake. This is just a personal preference, but the cheesecake wasn't as dense as I'd like it to be. I also found it a tad too sweet, probably because of the coulis and white chocolate.
The Mango Muhalabia looked so chic in a martini glass. It's a classic Middle Eastern pudding, supposedly creamy, but it was more of like a stiff gelatin when I dug in. The syrup was too sweet (tasted like artificial strawberry) while the mango cubes were sour.
|Basboussa Cheesecake Sphere - AED 46|
|Mango Muhalabia - AED 34|
Overall dining experience was good. Mark and I enjoyed their mezze and oriental rice! I love how they instill the essence of sharing especially with most of their dishes that are served family-style.
Service is also prompt and lively (staff were all cheerful and well-versed with the menu). Prices are a bit steep but the dishes are good for sharing, so maybe the cost would be much bearable when you're dining in groups.
Oh I'd also love to try their brunch! A bit of a budget stretch at AED 300+ per head, but I heard it already comes with pool and beach access. Mark and I will definitely go back for that, their mezze, and the view!
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Dubai Jumeirah Beach
The Walk, Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR)
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
+971 (0)55 166 8092
We were invited at Al Maeda and our meal was complimentary, but this post is not influenced nor paid for. Opinions on this blog post are my own.