DAR AL BABA – Downtown – Shk Mohammad bin Rashid Boulevard

Me with CHEF(right) and Bachir El Baba(owner) of DAR AL BABA
Me with CHEF(right) and Bachir El Baba(owner) of DAR AL BABA
DAR AL BABA interiors
DAR AL BABA interiors

DAR AL BABA is the first restaurant initiated by the famous lebanese sweet brand AL BABA. The brand AL BABA has been in Dubai for many years known for their premium sweets and now they’ve decided to move to the next level serving you authentic lebanese cuisine along with their delicious sweets. This is witnessed only if you visit DAR AL BABA located at Downtown. Rest of the AL BABA branches around Dubai serve you only arabic sweets. The funny part is you don’t realize they serve you any cuisine until they tell you about it cause this new restaurant is designed similar to their other signature sweet shops.

Different types of Konafa with cheese or cream - Dhs 30 per plate
Different types of Konafa with cheese or cream – Dhs 30 per plate
Son showing of his father(founder Al BABA sweets)
Son showing of his father(Mohammad Bashir Al Baba – founder Al BABA sweets)

Al BABA sweets has always been my first choice whenever I needed to impress anyone with arabic sweets. My first encounter with Al BABA sweets is the branch opposite to Deira City Center. I still remember their first sweet I tasted was their famous kunafa. The quality of the dairy cream which was covered by a perfect dough made it very special. Sweets from Al BABA is of the highest quality and comes with a premium tag. I remember the first time I bought a kilo of kunafa it was priced at Dhs 60 per kg but today the same is now costing Dhs 110 per kg.

Drinks - Jellab with pine nuts(Dhs 15) and fresh juice -Dhs 20 -  orange and  minted lemonade
Drinks – Jellab with pine nuts(Dhs 15) and fresh juice -Dhs 20 – orange and minted lemonade

It all started with their drinks and appetizers. I was actually very much looking forward to Jellab with pinenuts which is a drink made from syrup of raisins. It was a bit too strong for me. I would have preferred a lighter version of it. The best drink in the lot for me was their mint lemonade. They need to have more exciting drinks compared to what we get from other lebanese joints. This is definitely an area where they can make some improvement.

Makanek - Dhs 30(left) and Vine leaves - Dhs 20(right)
Makanek – Dhs 30(left) and Vine leaves – Dhs 20(right)
WITH yoghurt - Zucchini Dhs 30(right) and Meat & pasta balls (Dhs 45)
WITH yoghurt – Zucchini Dhs 30(right) and Meat & pasta balls (Dhs 45)

Today would be the first time I am having the owner of a restaurant having dinner along with us. We had the perfect host on our table. He gave us some great insights about his stores and how he manages them. He and his brother shuttles between Dubai and Lebanon every 20 days. He spoke about lebanese tradition and how it is rooted in their food. It was a dinner with open mind and facts.

We were quite impressed with those that came after the drinks. The Makanek I’ve never been able to enjoy it as much as I’ve enjoyed it here. Normally I just have a bit and leave it there but this was something that you’d really appreciate. I was told by the owner that the meat came from Lebanon. The other items dipped in yoghurt was tried for the first time but surely something we all enjoyed specially the Meat(kibbeh) balls in yoghurt. I’ve had kibbehs before but something about the meat and it dipped in yoghurt gave it a better taste than those dry ones. Vines leaves had a nice filling in it as well which kept us going for more.

Hummus - Dhs 15, bezeit - Dhs 15, Moutabal - Dhs 15, Foull
Hummus – Dhs 15, bezeit – Dhs 15, Moutabal – Dhs 15, Foull
Fattouch - Dhs 20 - chopped lettuce, onions, tomatoes, cucumber, radish, mint leaves and promenade on top
Fattouch – Dhs 20 – chopped lettuce, onions, tomatoes, cucumber, radish, mint leaves and promenade on top
Tabouleh - Dhs 20 - chopped parsley with onions, tomatoes, mint leaves and burghul
Tabouleh – Dhs 20 – chopped parsley with onions, tomatoes, mint leaves and burghul

Of course the hummus, moutabel is all standard.  A lebanese restaurant can’t go wrong in this department. The Fattouch with pomegranate syrup was really nice and so was it Mr. Bachir’s favourite as he ensured he finished it 😉 . The foull bezeit is a new item that we often don’t see. It’s beans with sauteed coriander and garlic. It’s seems like vegetarians would be happy here, they’ve good lot of interesting items to order.

Grilled chicken with saffron rice topped with rasin and nuts - Dhs 35
Grilled chicken with saffron rice topped with rasin and nuts – Dhs 35
Our dinner at DAR AL BABA
Our dinner at DAR AL BABA
Moudardara - Dhs 15
Moudardara – Dhs 15

The Grilled chicken with saffron rice which came loaded with raisins and nuts stole the show. I thought it would just be a typical yellow rice but this was totally different. A must order if you are here. It’s worth the price too. I feel here their food in the restaurant is much cheaper than their sweets they sell. Even the moudardara is satisfying. Like I said there is so much here for the vegetarians to look forward to 🙂

Kunafa with dairy cream - Dhs 30 per plate
Kunafa with dairy cream – Dhs 30 per plate
Bennaren kunafa (My favourite) - Dhs 30 per plate
Bennaren kunafa (My favourite) – Dhs 30 per plate

The Kunafas took a while to reach our table as they were freshly made. So it’s a good idea to order them a little early. It came hot and each of them was divided into 4 pieces, poured some sugar syrup on top and the rest was history. One of my favourite arabic sweets and the best kunafa I’ve had in this town so far. If you want to have authentic arabic sweets then this is the place to be 😉

Konafa with cheese - Dhs 25
Konafa with cheese – Dhs 25

Their official website would be: http://www.albaba-sweets.com
You can find their menu on their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DARELBABA

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