A new restaurant serving delectable sharing-style food on the shores of Khor Al Maqta.
We’ve got to give it to the food and beverage team at the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, who have opened not one but two new restaurants concepts in as many years! Following hot on the heels of Italian hotspot Marco’s New York Italian, diners in the capital now have a new Mediterranean restaurant to explore
The newly opened Mazaj Bab Al Bahr takes over the space previously occupied by Maison Beirut. On the first impression, Mazaj Bab Al Bahr has all of the right components for a memorable dining experience. Fronted by an antique door over 350 years old, with heavy handles and ornate carvings, the striking entryway acts as a precursor for the entire dining experience.
We enter into a restaurant space that is light and charming. Intricate tilework lines the floors while lush vegetation creeps out from the walls. Shelving is cleverly used to divide the large dining room into intimate spaces ideal for families and small gatherings. Each one contains a collection of antiques such as gramophones, typewriters, and sewing machines.
The fit-out is spectacular and provides Mazaj Bab Al Bahr with an instant likability, further enhanced by the restaurant’s prime position on the banks of Khor Al Maqta.
Mazaj Bab Al Bahr menu offers up the expected Turkish classics alongside exciting Mediterranean favourites. We’re quick to order a selection of hot and cold mezze, including Hummus Bil Tahini (AED 32), Moutabal (AED 32) and a delightfully fresh Beetroot and Goat Cheese Salad (AED 49). Competitively priced, the plating of the dishes is undoubtedly refined and the portions are more than generous.
Forgoing the usual kebabs and shawarma, we instead opt for the Turkish Manti (AED 45), which is perhaps our favourite dish on the menu. The small dumpling style ravioli are stuffed with minced beef and served with a fiery sumac spice and a cooling Greek yoghurt. The dish is both texturally pleasing and undeniably flavoursome.
Similarly, the Chargrilled Whole Seabass (AED 169) offers a large fish that is beautifully light and is accompanied by a moreish garlic and lemon oil and an aromatic syadieh rice. Finally, the Adana Kebab (AED 109) showcases minced lamb on a tabletop barbecue. The result is an Insta-worthy dish that tastes wonderful due to the flavour imparted onto the meat during the grilling process.
Despite being full from a plethora of savoury options,we’re enticed into trying the desserts. A Turkish Mastic Ice Cream is refreshing though somewhat of an acquired taste, while the legimat (a traditional fried doughnut) are beautifully golden, slathered in syrup and reveal a gloriously soft interior. Accompanied by a glass or two of Moroccan Mint Tea, it’s the ideal way to end a memorable meal.
Mazaj Bab Al Bahr is an exciting addition to Abu Dhabi’s restaurant scene, offering diners in the capital a welcoming space for dining that is anchored around a menu of comforting dishes. A confluence of friendly service, a lovely restaurant space and enjoyable sharing-style food makes Mazaj Bab Al Bahr one to watch.
GO: Visit www.fairmont.com/abu-dhabi for reservations and more information.