Al Mallah is one of the most recognizable eateries on Dhiyafah Road (now 2nd December). It’s a well-known Lebanese street food franchise now with branches across town but this is the one which made it famous. I have been coming here since I lived on the flag end of Dhiyafah Road. I can’t believe how/why I haven’t yet reviewed it. Surprisingly, not much on the outside has changed – same green on white sign, same shawarma spits, same falafel frying peep show, same outside (literally on the pavement) dining area which is perfect at this time of year. The interior has changed. If I’m not mistaken, they’ve split the interior – one half is still the restaurant, but the other half is now the Al Mallah Café. Or maybe it was always like this and I simply didn’t pay attention.
I was at Al Mallah with my BFF, Kambiz, who I had promised real Lebanese street food – not the tasteless retro rubbish we tend to get at some of the newer places which have popped up over the years. I ordered – Falafel, Hummus with meat and a tart and tangy Jarjeer (Rocca) salad followed by a plate of freshly cut-off-the-spit chicken shawarma – possibly what these boys are most famous for. The oops in our order came when a Manakish Labneh was served to us instead of the (yoghurt) Labneh Kambiz ordered, but it did little to lessen to gusto with which we devoured our food. The hummus/meat was superb as was the rocca salad but hands down best of all was the chicken shawarma.
Service is friendly, fast and furious. If you are in the mood for some of the best Lebanese street food in town, this is definitely the place to visit. Kambiz said it was one of the best meals he has had in Dubai. And from a Lebanese street food point of view, I agree wholeheartedly. Note – Al Mallah has opened several branches recently, one in particular in Ibn Battuta Mall. Although it may have the same DNA, it has little in common with this original in 2nd December. I would rather commute right across town to come to this one rather than go to the new one – chalk and cheese. I honestly believe this 2nd December Street Al Mallah should be listed as a Dubai culinary heritage site.
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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.