There was a time when Dubai was all about all pearl diving and fishing. We recently had the privilege to dine in at Al Mashowa which believes in the same concept and tries to bring back memories of the past by using the authentic recipes of the golden years. Al Mashowa is just the place to be if you love seafood and want to experience the traditional recipe of the locals in Dubai. The food has been traditional and authentic using the grand mothers recipe.
NOTE: I was invited as a guest to review
The whole restaurant has a seafood theme. It’s all about fishing boats, wood, oars, seafood, fishermen. All waiters around you wears the traditional fishermen dress. Infact the restaurant does not even have a wall to close the restaurant, instead have designed thick ropes used by boats to make a barrier. The plates are very familiar like the ones used at Seven Sands(another Emarati restaurant) or Sikka cafe.
Every table has a bunch of pickles which were perfect for the cuisine served here at Al Mashowa. Mocktails were really good and Passion of Arabia would be my recommendation.
They have some of the best soups here. I had my all eyes on the Harees Soup but the impressive one was actually their mixed seafood soup. The seafood soup was one of a kind with a strong burst of flavor. I’ve never appreciated seafood soup as much as this one. The Harees could be better, we’ve had better ones before.
The salads were typical. The tomato and onion salad was the blank one, thought that should be given as complimentary!
The appetizers were some of the unique offering. One was a hot appetizer, fried fish with sauces but for me personally the thriller was the cold fish appetizer which was just irresistible. The cold hammour starter was not yet available in the menu though. I think it’s called Harra Trablusie. They can’t go wrong with the hummus and the best part was the hot puffy bread that comes along with it.
The Emarati prawns curry was pretty good which was thick and had a strong taste to it. We also tried their fish stew but the prawns curry is the one to try. The rice accompanied along with the curry was nice and a good company to the curries.
The machbous is very famous in Dubai and you almost find this dish in many places. Here they keep it traditional with the use of dried lime and the rice is very much bland. If you are having the classic Machbous of the Emirates then you can’t expect much of flavor to it as how it is supposed to be. The Fried king fish also has a traditional marination which makes it feel very dry.
Ofcourse we couldn’t skip their fresh seafood selection. They had seafood platters available that comprised a little bit of everything or you could just try their fish alone such as the grilled hammour. Consider the price, the seafood platter would be an over kill if you don’t eat all of them, so maybe an individual selection such as the grilled hammour would be a better idea(usually charged by market price).
The trio of desserts were traditional and very much a familiar sight at most Emarati homes and I must admit I am a big fan of their pumpkin dessert(extreme right in the picture). We ended our lunch with a nice cup of karak chai and gahwa. The karak chai came strong and thick, just the way it should be. Click pictures to see them in full screen view: