Emirati food: What's in store for you this weekend

Emirati food: Whats in store for you this weekend

We tried three different salads - the Siraj Signature Halawa Salad (Dh47), Warm Dates and Kale Salad (Dh44), and Shanklish Salad - along with the Labneh with Smoked Salmon (you can add caviar to this) and the Eggplant Moutabel.



By Team KT

Published: Fri 13 May 2016, 11:27 PM

Last updated: Sat 14 May 2016, 2:34 AM

The moment you enter Siraj, you can tell that a lot of thought has gone into the theme. Positioned as an Emirati/Syrian restaurant in Souk Al Bahar, everything from the lanterns (hence the name) to the poetry on the walls and beautiful old Syrian bricks and tiles lends itself to the lovely ambiance. The place is busy, even on a weeknight, and there's a shisha area outside. The menu - not expansive - features some traditional Emirati and Syrian dishes, with a few oddballs like Canadian lobster, Wagyu beef, foie gras and caviar thrown in, because, we are in Dubai after all.
We tried three different salads - the Siraj Signature Halawa Salad (Dh47), Warm Dates and Kale Salad (Dh44), and Shanklish Salad - along with the Labneh with Smoked Salmon (you can add caviar to this) and the Eggplant Moutabel. The halawa salad is rather unique and a must try, with sweet strawberries and nutty halawa balancing the tart pomegranate arils and caramelised nuts. The date salad was also delicious - the dates tossed in ghee makes this dish - but the Shanklish was overdressed and had way too much lemon. Also try the vegetable samosas, but skip the Lobster Kebbeh; it tastes more like cheap fish than lobster. There are also the obligatory cheese rolls and served with a sweet and tart mango chutney.
Our mains consisted of the Shrimps Majboos (Dh95) and the Chicken Biryani (Dh79), both of which arrive with much theatre. We found the latter had way too much saffron, overpowering all the other aromatic spices, and a tad too salty. It looked a lot better than it tasted. The Majboos fared better and we would pick that over the biryani - just can't beat a good Indian biryani. Sorry guys. The shrimps were a bit overcooked, but the tomato gravy gave them a flavour very similar to some coastal Indian prawn curries, sans the coconut, mustard and curry leaves.
The desserts are fantastic. We'd come back just to eat the Sticky Date Pudding (Dh64) - 5 stars for just this one. The texture is crumbly, almost like a semolina pudding, and it's heady sweet. A must-try. The Rice Pudding (Dh53) is equally delicious - creamy milk, perfectly cooked rice and enough sweetness from the raisins and pistachios. You could also get the 23K Gold Saffron Mouhalabia (Dh64), a delightful reimagining of a classic middle eastern flan like pudding, with cotton candy and gold honey (that's the Dubai touch, in case you're wondering).
Take a look

 rohit@khaleejtimes.com


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