Al Muneera - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates

Starting out as one of the United Arab Emirates’ first food trucks, Meylas is no longer so much about grabbing a quick bite of local culture on the go, as it is about experiencing the traditional flavours in a small cafe decorated like a “canteen” from a bygone era. You will feel like you’re at the start of the modern development in the UAE. Dallah (traditional coffee pots), henna, shopping bags, postcards, and children’s games are on display and for sale if you choose to take a bit of that culture home with you.

Of course, the food and hospitality is at the center of attention. Locally sourced ingredients contribute to chbaab, a pancake served with date syrup and salonat badu, the traditional bedouin stew made with chicken or lamb. At the end of the meal, you’ll find several sweets like khabees that are spiced with cardamom and saffron or legeimat, which reminds me of a donut hole sweetened with dates syrup and topped with sesame seeds. Coffees and teas are prepared the way they used to be and should not be passed up at the end of the meal while you mull over the days events. I recommend ordering a smattering of anything that looks interesting off the menu to share.

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