Zahira Restaurant & Lounge Friday Brunch – Review
As alluring as the name sounds, Zahira Restaurant and lounge offers a contemporary take on modern Middle Eastern cuisine curated by the award-winning Chef Greg Malouf.
Zahira the modern Middle Eastern restaurant and lounge is an animated dining destination on the extensive culinary map of Dubai. Offering generous sharing menu alongside unlimited house beverages Zahira is a perfect place for sharing a good time with friends and family.
Located on the first floor of The H Hotel Dubai Sheikh Zayed Road, Zahira’s interior luxuriously exudes contemporary yet comfortable vibes. With a separate small bar, the dining area sprawls with sofa style seating and a distinguished air that immediately loosen you up and let you relax. The windows are heavily draped concealing light from the outside even at 12 afternoons it felt like a bustling and animated evening which is very inviting and appealing.
To welcome the much anticipated seasonal change in Dubai, the restaurant has launched its flavorful Friday brunch with a new seasonal offering – a seven-course feasting menu with unlimited house beverages and groovy live entertainment. To try the Zahir’a Friday brunch by the famous Chef Greg Malouf, we headed to the H Hotel Dubai on a regular Friday afternoon. Since we were looking for excitement and surprises we left it to the Chef to pick the dishes for us.
The sharing menu started off with the starters. Complementary Kaak with Dukka (sesame seeds hazelnut Olive oil) came in first, Kaak bread a crispier kin to the usual Khubz tasted interesting and crunchy with the aromatic Dukka dip. Next came three different types of appetizers; Hazelnut Falafel – with tahini and pickled turnips on the side, Burratta with Foul Muddamas, and lastly smooth Labneh with organic cucumbers. The falafel tasted divine with an irresistible crunch and the tahini added a creamier flavor to it. The Burratta with Foul Muddamas was a whole new experience. It is often difficult to merge two different flavors together but we must give it to the Chef for creating such an avant-garde dish. Burrata tasted delicious as would any burrata but the marriage of the two (burrata and the foul Muddamas) was what ignited the imagination, the Foul Muddamas added the nutty flavor and a slight crunch to the soft and oozy burrata, which tickled the palate with every bite. The Labneh with organic cucumber came in with a very artsy and architectural presentation, long strands of thinly sliced cucumber on the edge of a bowl and the labneh in the middle, made it more a piece of culinary art than a regular appetizer.
For the main course, we tried the chef’s special Malouf’s Ouzi (slow cooked Australian saltbush lamb with nut rice) and Imam Bayaldi, (melting whole eggplant plum tomatoes with goat cheese). We are a big fan of the traditional Ouzi and have tried and tasted almost everywhere in the UAE, but it wouldn’t be justified if we call it just Ouzi, for it truly and literally was ‘Malouf’s Ouzi’. Bursting with aromas and flavors with melt in the mouth chunks of lamb meat it probably was the best we have had in years. Exuding true finesse and distinctive originality (which naturally stems from the chef’s background and inspirations), Malouf’s Ouzi serenaded the tale of Middle Eastern Cuisine like no other, drenched in the quintessential spice mix (baharat) the delicate taste of lamb, it was simply Delicious! Imam Bayaldi was also an exciting vegetarian option maintaining its strong Middle Eastern culinary calling.
After the main course, we tried two flavorful desserts. The Pavlova with organic rose blossom labneh and strawberry compote and Passionfruit Mahalabia. The Pavlova was lightly sweetened and the taste was dominated by acidity from the compote and the labneh, it was delicious for those who love a bit a tartness in their desserts. The passionfruit Mahalabia had an interesting take on flavors. The Mahalabia tasted smooth and fragrant whereas the passionfruit added a zesty kick to the dish.
Overall the brunch turned out to be very exciting. It wasn’t the typical Friday Brunch we expected. There was much to unravel in terms of flavors, creativity, and culinary fusion, with an exciting and vibrant atmosphere.
Zahira’s Friday Brunch with Chef Greg Malouf 1pm-4pm.
Choose seven dishes for the table for AED 180 per person.