The opening marks its second outpost in the UAE.
Owing to its location, the UAE has seen traditional Arabic cuisine interpreted and reinterpreted into countless iterations that cater to all manner of palates, but few restaurateurs boast the staying power of Mireille Hayek. Her luxury café concept Em Sherif Café exhibits Hayek’s very unique take on Lebanese cuisine, one that triggers fond memories of home cooking while delivering a truly refined dining experience – and the proof is in the proverbial pudding. Em Sherif Café is now present across Lebanon, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE, with the latest opening in Abu Dhabi marketing its seventh outpost.
Located on Corniche Road and boasting striking sea views, the new venue is rooted in an extensive à la carte menu that presents authentic Lebanese delicacies in a new light. All ingredients are chosen with a personal touch, from the fresh produce to the succulent meats, to surprise and delight guests through innovative dishes. The menu features an extensive selection of salads as well as cold and hot mezze, with signatures including the famous fresh Lebanese Tabbouleh in three equally delectable variations, a hearty lentil salad, a classic creamy hummus topped with roasted pine nuts, Mloukhiye bel Zeit (jute leaves in olive oil), and the flavoursome Kishk & Awarma. The menu also includes a daily dish and mains, such as the flavour-packed Chicken Msakhan.
The setting, meanwhile, is warm and welcoming – and true to the Levantine hospitality that Hayek’s ventures are renowned for. With its walls delicately decorated with elegant silhouettes of oriental vases and botanical accents, in addition to comfortable earthy furnishings and marble tabletops, the space is designed to transport visitors to a forgotten oriental dream far away from the grind of daily life. Incidentally, Em Sherif was recognised as ‘one to watch’ on the first ever MENA’s 50 Best Restaurants list, making a jaunt to this café well worth it.