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Em Sherif: Beirut back in the day

Image Credit: Abhishek Sengupta/XPRESS
Delightful: Tabekh Em Sherif

Restaurant Review: Em Sherif

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  • Avg. Cost per Person:

    220 Dhs
  • Location:  

    The Address Downtown Dubai Walk, facing Souk Al Bahar and the Burj, Downtown Dubai , Dubai
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Fatet Batenjein, Tabekh Em Sherif, all desserts

Opening hours:
Daily noon-4pm, 8pm-midnight

Phone number:
04 4243000

DUBAI: I have never been to Lebanon, but I have heard of its glorious past and tales that once gave its capital Beirut the nickname ‘Paris of the Middle East’. Em Sherif - the hip new Lebanese restaurant in the heart of Downtown Dubai – to my idea harks back to that glamorous era.

Facing the iconic Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Fountain, the restaurant features an outdoor terrace only a few can match, but it’s the interiors that will grab your attention instantly. Walls with a garish (in a nice way) greyish blue tone, ornamented with an eclectic mix of trinkets and high ceilings with stunning chandeliers give the restaurant its fabulous retro look.

Add to that the sparkling silver ornaments on mirrored tables and low majlis-style seating and Em Sherif looks more like your luxurious private villa where waiters in pristine black bow ties and sherwal (traditional baggy trousers) are at your service – dressed as if for an Oscar night!

Food of course is on another level and a full house on a Wednesday afternoon perhaps suggests that. What might surprise you though is that Em Sherif does not have a menu. So you basically eat what has been cooked for every customer that will be walking in that day!

Now if you are wondering whether they will have your or your guest’s choices, worry not because they rustle up as many as 30 items in quick time, covering pretty much all bases in cold and hot mezzes (appetizers), the mains and the desserts. So expect a round of cold starters first up comprising not only all the usual suspects but also some really delightful stuff like a Kabis Mehche (pickled eggplant) or Salade Bakleh (tuna cooked with tahini and tomato sauce). Warm cheese sambusas and kebba sajiyye (grilled meatballs) follow soon, but the hot dish to look out for is their Fatet Batenjein, arguably the best eggplant casserole made in any cuisine. However your outing there is incomplete without their signature Tabekh Em Sherif made of meat, onions and rice cooked in a creamy rich yoghurt base gravy and their extensive range of desserts!

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