Mazaree Al Sham is a meat lovers heaven; its name a giveaway to its Syrian roots. Butchery, delicatessen and restaurant all rolled up in one, it is without a doubt one of the most underrated culinary establishments I have come across in Dubai in recent years. Located next door to Overdose Burger on Jumeriah Road, its interior is split between a ranch-like wooden dining area and a carnivore’s candy-store butchery and deli.
Although there are plenty of vegetarian options on the menu this really isn’t a restaurant you take a rabbit to – unless you want to eat it. This is the unpretentious Levantine version of Nusr-Et.
You can enjoy the amazing food at this restaurant in several ways, the Arabic/Syrian way or the Western/Syrian way or, as my host and I did, a combination of both. We ordered a selection of mezza. Stand outs for me were the Lahm bi ajeen (also transliterated as laham b’ajeen or called lahmajun or lahmajoun), often described as Middle Eastern meat pizza, and a hot pepper dip (originally from Aleppo) called Muhammara or mhammara – both were superb.
Our mains were recommended by the owner and comprised of a mixed grill, smoked lamb chops, oven baked kofta and one of the best, fall off the bone, cotton tender short ribs I have had – full stop.
Although better than most, you can get an Arabic mixed grill anywhere. Instead, my advice is to try their super succulent smoked lamb chops which are so good they gave the industry standard (and my all-time favourites), Al Damyati & Iskandaron, a good run for their money. In addition to the beef short ribs, also try the baked lamb kofta – oh man, it’s simple, it’s earthy, it’s rustic and yes, it is a little lamby but that’s what makes it so damn good.
And then there are the desserts…
Mazaree Al Sham’s menu is so diverse we only touched the tip of the iceberg. It is worth noting that they run a weekday lunch special from Sunday – Thursday, from 12:00 – 17:00 where you get 25% off your total bill – brilliant! Service is exceptional, the hospitality pure Syrian – welcoming, genuine and infinitely accommodating. We were looked after by a friendly Filipina named Roxanne who fussed over Leigh and me like we were her long-lost brothers. Even the owner twice looked in on us. Come on, man, that doesn’t happen anywhere…not anymore. This restaurant is not a hidden gem; it’s a gem sitting in the middle of Beach Road waiting to be discovered.
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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.