Al Nafoorah
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Feast on Fine Lebanese Cuisine with Dubai's High-Flyers
This local favorite has long been one of Dubai's best Lebanese restaurants. It's also a favorite of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, who frequently dines here -- his offices are in the adjoining tower. While I like the restaurant for lunch, when the people-watching is at its most distracting -- Emirates Towers houses many of Dubai's high-flyers -- dinner on the terrace is romantic. When it comes to the food, there are no surprises if you're familiar with the cuisine. This is simply Lebanese at its finest, prepared with finesse and quality ingredients. To start, order an array of salads and cold and hot mezze, such as fattoush (cucumbers, tomatoes, fragrant herbs, pomegranate seeds, toasted Arabic bread chips), moutabel (roasted eggplant dip made with tahina and pomegranate), muhammara (red capsicum, breadcrumbs, walnuts, lemon juice, and olive oil dip), Al Nafoorah hommous (classic chickpea dip topped with pine nuts and cumin), grilled halloumi, and fried kebbe. Follow these with a mixed grill of assorted kebabs and for dessert order the orange muhalabiya (orange and rose water pudding). You'd expect Al Nafoorah to be expensive, considering its location in the Boulevard, a luxury mall in Emirates Towers, however, it's very affordable with generous mezze and salads starting at US$10 and grilled meats from US$14, although seafood dishes cost around US$49. There's a good value lunch (Sun-Thur) for around US$30.
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