Maraheb is one of the best Yemeni mandi restaurant franchises in Dubai (and Sharjah). This seventh and newest branch is located in the Aspin Residential Tower not far from the Trade Center and is their second outlet on Sheikh Zayed Road, the first and original being just off the Al Safa interchange. Set over two floors, the ground floor for table dining and the upper for traditional floor dining (although the top floor was closed on the day we visited).
We started our meal with Saltah Fahsah, the de facto Yemeni national dish which is made with slow-cooked, shredded lamb and served with Malawah, a flat bread which looks like a giant paratha. Served in a wooden based cast iron sizzler pot, the lamb stew was brought to our table spitting and sputtering angrily. My friends and I quickly finished our delicious meat broth and set upon it with pieces of malawah. The saltah fahsah at this new branch is not as good as at the other branches.
There were three of us, so we ordered Mandi, Madfoon and Hanith in-order to try them all. I was disappointed that our food was served in take-away aluminium containers with plastic cutlery. Worse still, when we asked for proper plates, we were brought ones made from Styrofoam – really? The food itself though was delicious. I liked my madfoon the most but was surprised that it was served without the traditional aluminium foil wrap. It looked no different than the mandi meat, which incidentally was very good. So was the (massive) hanith which is served as a full stack of ribs.
Service at this new branch was better than I remember at any of their other branches. We were attended to by a young Algerian lad who was as accommodating as he was attentive. Although this new branch is obviously still finding its feet, I still think it is superior to most other options in the market. Even the Kunefe we ended our meal with was brilliant. I still can’t get over the take-away containers our food was served in but with food this good, I’ll accept these little niggles.
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