Authentic middle eastern food that will warm your belly. Beautiful interiors that will welcome you and make you feel at home. Traditional Arabic ambiance that will soak all your senses. I am talking about Reem Al Bawadi, one of the oldest middle eastern restaurants in UAE. I have been to Reem Al Bawadi in the past on multiple occasions and have always found it to be an experience in itself.
Reem Al Bawadi, Marina Branch
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure to visit the Marina branch of Reem Al Bawadi to review it and I could just not wait to get there. Not only was it one of the best locations of Reem Al Bawadi that I have been to ( I am in love with the Jumeirah one!), it had a slightly different vibe than the others (it was the mesmerizing Marina views I guess).
It’s a huge 2-floor restaurant and can be seen clearly from the distance at Marina Promenade. Once you enter you can see traditional middle eastern fabric prints on the furniture and the walls adorned with matching antiques and vine leaves. We were sat on the 1st floor whose ceiling was also covered by vines and we could enjoy sea views at the same time.
We first ordered some juices which were extremely fresh and made in-house. Next, for appetisers, we tried a mix of hot and cold mezze (Arabic starters). That included hummus, eggplant moutabal, fatoush (salad with olive oil dressing and crispy bread), Yalange (slow cooked vegetables and rice stuffed vine leaves), fried kebbeh, cheese and meat sambousek, spinach fatayer and fried calamari.
My daughter fell in love with the cheese and meat sambousek (middle eastern flaky dough filled with cheese or meat) while the kibbeh and hummus were my absolute favorite! The kibbeh was perfectly seasoned and not over fried and crumbly (like I have had it at so many other places). Also the fatayer and sambousek were soft and absolutely fresh.
Then came our main course which included : lamb cubes, kebab halabi, shish tawook, lebanese kafta, lamb arayes and lamb chops and a seafood platter that had grilled hamour filet, gulf shrimps, Sultan Ibraheem, mussels and calamari.
Out of this, I would give 5 stars to both the platters! My husband is not a big fan of mussels but even he enjoyed the way they were cooked. Each and every piece of meat was properly marinated and cooked to perfection. There were no undercooked chewy bits or over cooked unable to even bite bits. Everything literally melted in your mouth and I am also talking about the lamb chops which only few can cook properly. The Sultan Ibraheem (whole fish marinated and baked) was a winner in the seafood platter and I just cannot choose one best kebab from the mixed grill platter.
Manaal loved the arayes (meat layered between Arabic flatbread) too and would not let us have any. I did sneak in a few bites and it was another one of my favorites.
By this time we were quite full but the Manager insisted we try the desserts. We did not need much convincing despite our full stomachs because we know how decadent middle eastern desserts are! Who can say no to kunafah ?!!
We tried the mix dessert platter that consisted of 2 kinds of cheese kunafe (home made cheese covered in pastry and soaked in a sugary syrup), baklava (dough layers stuffed with pistachio and baked), and halawat al jebn ( cheese pastries stuffed with cream and topped with honey and pistachios). That is one heavy dessert platter. The combinations of cheese and sweet syrups made unique flavors that warmed your heart and soul and took you back to a happy place.
All I needed right now with the warm kunafe was a cup of Moroccan tea and I would be in heaven. And almost like I was in heaven, my wish was granted and an extremely friendly waiter brought me some Moroccan tea (and made quite a show of it by pouring it from an almost impossible height! Watch the video on my Instagram). I sipped my tea while soaking in the Marina views in the best food coma I have ever been.
Reem Al Bawadi is a family-friendly spot to dine or lunch with friends and family. They also offer the best sheeshas if you fancy one! If you visit it the hot and cold mezze, mix grilled platter and dessert platters are a must try! If you are not feeling up for a complete meal, their shawarmas are also some of the best in the city. Almost all their locations are at scenic (aka Instagram worthy) locations which are a bonus especially if you are a fan of fine dining with views!! Reem al Bawadi is an award-winning restaurant that values the middle eastern culture and serves delicious food at an affordable price (double winner!). Find out where they are located by clicking here: http://www.reemalbawadi.com/locations
Have you been to Reem Al Bawadi restaurant? What have you tried? I would love to hear all about your experience in the comments below!
Disclaimer – I was invited to Reem Al Bawadi for a review, however, all opinions and views are my own.