I can’t remember the last time I had to queue for a restaurant in Dubai; certainly not in Covid memory and especially not for a shawarma. So, it was with a mix of amusement and bewilderment (which quickly turned into a scowl…nearly a growl) that I accepted a numbered jetton and joined the growing group of lunchtime diners in hope of a table at Laffah in Barsha. Famous for its Syrian style broasted chicken (that’s fried chicken to you and me), shawarmas and potato fries, Laffah may well be one of Sharjah’s biggest culinary exports to Dubai. All this said, whilst it takes time to get a table, once seated, it’s like someone in the back hits an invisible FF button – waiter appears, takes order and serves within minutes.
My food adventurer buddies and I, still raw and smarting from a less than ideal encounter at Farouj Fawaz (also in Barsha), stuck to their signature dishes when ordering…which means we tried all of the above. I’ll make this easy – the broasted chicken is nothing special nor are the fried chips. The shawarma (we tried meat and chicken and meat and chicken mixed) was…good, not fantastic but good. You need a full bite before you get to the meat but once there it’s juicy and garlicky, in an old school way….similar to Allo Beirut but not nearly as good, all the way to the end.
Is Laffah worth a visit? Not really (especially not if you have to wait); the restaurant itself has little ambiance in the way Allo Beirut or even next-door neighbour, Rawabi Alsham have. Service is fast and efficient but hardly what I’d call friendly. So, what makes it so famous then? Your guess is as good as mine.
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Xerxes (pronounced Zûrk’seez) 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 his culinary journey on Instagram: @ravenousxerxes or reach out to him via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.