We were lucky enough to be invited to Al Maeda located in Double Tree Hotel, JBR. This is an upscale restaurant serving some authentic Arabic and Lebanese cuisine. Before we get anywhere close to reviewing the food, let me talk about the ambiance and the location. The restaurant is so beautiful! So much detailing in every single aspect. I loved the seating arrangements – very spacious and comfortable. There was plenty of seating outside (overlooking the pool) and indoors as well. They have a huge bar with sofas for you to get comfy during happy hours.
The service was very efficient and quick. Our server was very educated and helped us order some really delicious food. My problem was that they had pre decided the menu but did not ask us our preferences or if we were allergic to anything at all. They had some red meat planned for main course and I am allergic. Yes, upon briefing them on my issue, they asked us to pick our main courses from the menu.
They have an open kitchen where you can see your food being prepared. I had a lot of fun watching them make their signature breads which ps. where so BOMB! ❤
My favourites from things that were served to us that day were:
Fattoush [32AED]: Such a classic salad that I almost go for everywhere when having some authentic Arabic cuisine. The salad was absolutely fresh and was shareable by two. The salad consisted of tomato, cucumber, onion, radish and olives.
Hummus [29AED]: Yes, we are basic but you can tell how a restaurant will fare according to the hummus they serve and man it was way too delicious. Paired with their freshly served hot breads, the bowl was clean within minutes. Shocker.
Cheese and Za’atar Manakish [38AED]: I loved the quantity on this one. Such a huge serving of Manakish bread topped with Akkawi, Mozzarella and Za’atar (thyme) of-course. This was not too overly cheesy and oily. The bread was perfected made and the Za’atar just got this whole Manakish together. You really cannot go wrong with this dish for sure.
Jumbo Prawns [122AED]: Okay, wow these prawns were huge and we LOVE prawns but this just was not doing right for us. I honestly felt they were over cooked and just lacked any flavours at all. We were served 4 pieces of jumbo prawns – honestly would not have mind that at all in relation to the price but we just did not enjoy this at all.
Chicken Shawarma [49AED]: I was suggested this by our server and honestly I am glad I went ahead for this dish as my main course. The portion size was generous. The shawarma chicken came stuffed in a flat bread with chopped up pickles, harra sauce and cheese. It also came alongside some salad and a bunch of sweet potato fries. It was my first time having sweet potato fries (I KNOW) and omgosh they were way too delicious. We also had plenty garlic dip and tomato salsa on the side. Honestly, 49AED is SO worth it for the food presented in front of you.
Chicken Kofta [79AED]: It has been a while since I actually had some delicious chicken kofta and the ones served at Al Maeda was just amazing! The meat was so flavourful! They have lamb chops, more poultry and red meat options in their grills menu. My friend loved the lamb chops – said they were absolutely tender and extremely well marinated.
Basbousa Cheesecake [35AED approx]: Okay I have a problem with this amazing, amazing, amazing dessert. The strawberry syrup. The overly sweet, unnecessary lukewarm syrup that is to be poured over the while chocolate dome which covers one of the best cheesecakes I have ever had. It’s just too much syrup and all it does is throw the whole dessert off balance. Like we kept pouring the whole syrup on the white chocolate dome, it hardly even made a dent cus HELLO, it was not warm AT ALL. The white chocolate was so good! wow. And the cheesecake? Ah, so creamy and dense. Basbousa base, the cheesecake was the best thing I had all evening.
Mango Mahalabia: This was quite delicious as well! Quality Mahalabia topped with some dried kunafa, pistachios and diced mango. The problematic part were they mango pieces. They tasted so off – so hard and tasteless. Keeping that aside again, the Mahalabia was quite delicious.
Final Thoughts: If you’re looking to come as a family for a fun filled meal, I’d suggest you come in the afternoon so that you’d be able to have fun at the pool as well. But for couples, do come here for dinner, it is just something else. A miss here and there; but amazing regardless.
Ambience: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Service: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Pricing: ♦ ♦ ♦
Eating Experience: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Over All: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦