Al Yemen Mandi is one of the better authentic Yemeni mandi restaurants in Dubai. This branch, behind Grand Station in Hor Al Anz is one of two, the other being in the England Cluster of International City. Like many such restaurants, Al Yemeni is split between a family and public section which again is split between floor, cubicle and table-chair seating. If you’ve been to a mandi restaurant you’ll know the drill, a plastic tablecloth is placed on the table as a form of hello, here we go almost as soon as you’re seated. My enduring food buddy and BFF, Sam brought me (and our sons) here for what he promised was the best or Haneeth Ribs (Lahm Haneeth Zil) in town.
We started our meal with a Fahsa Saltah, which is a rich meat and tomato stew that’s not only one of Yemen’s national dishes but also a staple in any Yemeni restaurant for lunch. It’s served in a pre-heated traditional cast iron pot (similar to a sizzler hotplate) bubbling hot, spitting and sputtering. We find it’s best eaten with their giant paratha-like bread called Malawah. The combination is…OMG! Of course, along with our Fahsa we also got our complimentary bowl of meat broth, which I find is like a litmus test for the quality of the mandi to come – if the broth is good, the mandi is almost always good.
Four stainless steel plates of Haneeth were brought to our table, enough meat and rice to feed double our number. This was my first-time eating ribs and I must tell you, Sam was absolutely right, it was tender, flavoursome and fun to eat…of course, with our hands. Plus, it was a welcome change from the Madfoon I have by default. The rice was well flavoured but not as good as Maraheb’s, our favourite mandi restaurant. We also enjoyed the extra spicy tomato salsa we asked them to bring us to add that extra kick to our meal.
And to finish? Of course, Kunefe and sweet cardamom tea. Although the Kunefe was good, I felt the cream filling had too much of a vanilla aftertaste to it. But who’s complaining?
Service at a mandi restaurant is like watching a movie with the fast-forward button pressed and Al Yemen Mandi was no different, everything was wham-bam fast. It was friendly too but some of that was because of Sam, who is a regular here. I liked this restaurant. It reminded me of Tibba in Qusais, which it’s about on par with. Although Maraheb is still my favourite, Al Yemen Mandi is most definitely well worth a visit.
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Xerxes physically visits (and dines at) each and every venue he reviews. He pays in full for whatever he and his companions eat and drink. Xerxes accepts no money, gifts, discounts or free meals in return for reviews. What you have read was not influenced in any way by the venue. Join me on Instagram @ravenousxerxes or email me on: email@example.com