Shaikh Al Mandi is a value for money Yemeni mandi restaurant near the Holiday Inn in Al Barsha. Its no-frills interior is laid-out in traditional style with a communal floor seating area, floor seating private cubicles and of course, table and chair seating. The restaurant looks a lot better on the inside that it does from the outside. Irrespective of where you sit, someone quickly comes and covers the surface of where your food will be served with a thin plastic equivalent of a tablecloth. That’s when your meal begins.
Every mandi begins with the meat broth and Shaikh’s is flavoursome, tasting very much like a light trotters soup. I ordered a meat mandi and asked for an extra spicy tomato salsa. The lamb from the mandi was (literally) fall off the bone tender and deliciously succulent. Interestingly, the rice was not as heavily spiced as at other mandi restaurants, as if not to take any attention away from the meat. I found this back to basics combination spot on, especially with a little of their super spicy salsa mixed in.
Generalising a little, I feel today that the mainly Arabic speaking staff at mandi restaurants are somehow intimidated by people who don’t speak Arabic and therefore limit their interaction with them to the bare minimum. Before I came to this conclusion, I often felt they were being unfriendly and (dare I say) rude. Thankfully this is not the case at Shaikh where our server even smiled a couple of times.
There is no shortage of mandi restaurants in Barsha; there’s Cabritoz, Al Romansiah and Bait Al Mandi to name but a few. Whilst I wouldn’t put Shaikh Al Mandi in that league, I wouldn’t say they’re far off either. Worth a visit? For variety, yes.
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Xerxes physically dines at, or orders from, each and every venue he reviews. He pays in full for whatever he and his companions eat, drink, take away or occasionally throw at each other. Xerxes accepts no money, gifts, discounts or free meals in return for reviews or favouritism. 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.