In my recent trip to Dubai, I did my research and was eager to visit Arabian Tea House–a restaurant that serves authentic Emirati food.
According to the website, there are two branches in Dubai. One in The Mall, which well, is in a mall in Jumeirah and another one in Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood. (I am not capitalising the names of these places for my writing convenience by the way, their official names are as such, to my pleasant surprise as well.) I visited the one in the old part of Dubai and was thoroughly amazed by its beauty, the hospitality and the quality of food served.
Nearing the entrance of the restaurant, we were greeted with rows upon rows of beautiful yellow flowers against the setting sun.
Here’s the other side of the restaurant- furnished similar to its interior:
Not far from this outdoor dining area was this open-air tent-age with an empty tea pot and cups. I guess for a picturesque photo-op for its patrons, which I thoroughly milked.
The interior of the restaurant is also decorated in vibrant turquoise hues against contrasting white walls and plush cushions.
As I was so stuffed from my virgin pilgrimage to The Cheesecake Factory, even though I had only a slice; a Godiva Chocolate Flourless Cheesecake slice which was divine. A slice was filling enough to fulfil 90% of my daily caloric needs since that alone was 1400 calories. Talk about bang for your buck. Anyway, I digress. At the Arabian Tea House, as I was pretty full for an early dinner before our red eye flight back, I chose a pomegranate feta salad. It arrived with generous amount of walnuts, leafy greens, green apples and pomegranate seeds. I reckon the serving alone was good enough for 2 to 3 people.
My dining partner ordered grilled lamb kebabs and it came with a side of fries, yoghurt and a small salad. We were also served Emirati bread which in the pic below, is the bread that took centre-stage. I took a small bite of it and it reminded me of a thinner version of a naan, a bread found in North Indian cuisine.
I am not a big fan of lamb because the gamey taste just turns me off and I can’t help but be reminded of someone’s bad BO. Yeap, that doesn’t shout appetite-inducing at all. Well, I gingerly took a bite of it and was pretty impressed. The kambing taste that I am used to expect was not present at all. It was dare I say, delicious. But the Godiva cheesecake in my stomach churned and threatened to spill up my gullet, so I still stuck to my tangy salad.
We didn’t make much progress with the big bread that took centrestage on our small table and as I didn’t want to waste food, I requested to have it packed for well, the flight back. The wait staff happily obliged and to my surprise, came back with the packed bread and cheerfully informed me that he had also packed another one on the house. I was so touched because it was so such a nice and unexpected gesture.
Glad to say that the bread was shared amongst my family members and they echoed the same sentiment that it was similar to naan. I also toasted it with a slice of cheese atop for my sister for a snack and we both agreed that it was delicious.
Would I recommend a visit to Arabian Tea House? With a good number of vegetarian, pescatarian and gluten-free food choices on top of the service, I most definitely would.