Dubai: This Palestinian chef's restaurant serves smoked meats with fire and knife shows

'King of Smoked Meats' Chef Eyad specialises in Levant and Texan fusion cuisine.


Husain Rizvi

Published: Mon 8 Aug 2022, 5:36 PM

Last updated: Tue 9 Aug 2022, 11:50 AM

How do you like your meat? If well done is your answer, it is time you head to Downtown Dubai’s recently opened eatery Chef Eyad. Its head chef, Eyad Alhasan is the Palestinian “King of Smoked Meats”, who has now set up shop in Dubai and dabbles in the art of delivering smoked, juicy, and tender meat to his visitors.

All that is paired with a high-octane open kitchen featuring a set of talented staff who not only use their knives for cutting meat but also for theatrics to entertain their guests, all the while performing fire shows and executing group dance moves. And if you’re feeling groovy, do join in shaking a leg with the staff to some traditional regional music.

The theatrics prove to be an instant hit with Instagrammers in the audience.

Eyad is originally a Palestinian butcher who became famous locally for his unique techniques and his signature blends of Eastern spices and classic Texan barbecue tastes. The celebrated chef has more than 20 years of experience in this field, starting from his hometown Kafr Qasim, then moving to the US to learn more before opening successful restaurants in Palestine, Turkey, Bahrain, and now the UAE.

But how did it all begin?

“I began my journey as a chef when I first tasted slow cooked meat,” Eyad tells City Times in a conversation. “I was so blown away by the taste, I started developing my own unique ways to slow cook meat. It then became a determination of mine to spread this concept across the world, which I am doing now by being a chef trailblazing the way to innovation and achieving my passion.”

Chef Eyad's UAE branch is located conveniently off Sheikh Zayed Road near the first interchange and has a chic indoor setting with a view of Burj Khalifa. It features smoking, non-smoking, and private dining areas that can hold up to 200 visitors.

The Levant and Texan fusion menu at the restaurant features a half or 1kg Chef Eyad-style meat that is served with traditional Arabic salads, a plate of spicy rice, sauces, appetisers, and a soft drink. Visitors can end their smoked experience on a sweet note with a wide range of desserts including kulaj, tiramisu cake and more. The eatery's beverage menu features a range of mojitos that go extremely well if visitors decide to order a sheesha as part of their dining experience.

Excerpts from our conversation with Eyad Alhasan:

When did you decide to become a chef? What led to it?

Meat and innovation are two things I am extremely passionate about. Being a foodie, I’m always striving to create new dishes and cooking techniques. My journey to discovering this concept started by being a butcher. I’m fond of cutting meat and cooking it to the highest standards of perfection. I once tried to cook the meat slowly over low heat in organic charcoal. The results were extraordinary and the innovation of Chef Eyad’s restaurant concept started right there.

What is your signature dish? What do people love about it?

I began the innovation of this concept by tasting a variety of meat cuts. Out of the numerous types, one stood out in particular, Brisket. Its unbeatable combination of flavour and tenderness combined with our secret spices make it mouth-wateringly delicious and a customer favourite.

You have a special fire technique, can you tell us more about it?

The Chef Eyad concept is full of cheerful ambience and spontaneous vibes such as a fire show, meat kissing and impromptu dances. The fire show is one of our specialties that attracts the guests to the chef counter and join the celebration, (do an) impromptu dance and taste our one-of-a-kind smoked meat.

In the restaurant, there’s a lot of entertainment. Do you believe that’s important while serving food?

In addition to the smoked meat, what makes the Chef Eyad concept unique is the memorable moment’s guests experience whilst having food. We want to build an environment that is exciting and fun for our guests, that’s why we believe it’s important to have entertainment and joyful vibes while serving food so our guests’ experience exceeds their expectations.

What is your best and worst dish?

Every dish is cooked with passion and love. Our team of chefs devote time and precision in assembling an array of mouth-watering meat. All our dishes are unique and the best in their own way – it depends on a customer’s taste and preference!

Describe your cooking philosophy.

Cooking and serving food is related to many success factors. Slow cooking over low heat with special organic charcoal and adding a unique Middle Eastern blend of spices is the main factor of our concept. We also pay attention to choosing the highest quality, fresh and organic meat in order to serve the best smoked dishes. The supply chain is critical to ensure high quality.

The average cost of a meal for two at Chef Eyad Smoked Meats Restaurant, Sheikh Zayed Road Dubai, is Dh300

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