Sponsored: A destination dining experience combining Middle Eastern cuisine with exciting entertainment.
Visiting Al Magheeb at Fairmont The Palm is like stepping into a scene from one of the One Thousand and One Nights folktales. With its tented canopies decked in twinkling fairy lights and lavishly carpeted floors, the pretty restaurant presents diners with a pleasing poolside setting complete with views of the Dubai Marina skyline.
Meaning ‘sunset’ in Arabic, Al Magheeb is the five-star hotel’s latest culinary concept and one that appears to be drawing a steady crowd of locals, residents and curious tourists looking to indulge in Middle Eastern cuisine.
Yet there is more to Al Magheeb than friendly service, enormous portions and skyline views. This new restaurant also offers an exciting dinner and a show element, where diners can expect nightly performances from a bellydancer, skilled oud musician and an elaborate fire show that will leave you astounded and amazed.
While things are firing up on the stage, the menu with its flame-licked grills and bountiful mezze selection offers a culinary journey across the Middle East, extending out from the Levant region and incorporating dishes from Turkey, Syria and the Mediterranean coast.
With an appealing set menu offered for sharing, diners can easily enjoy the restaurant’s plethora of signature dishes. However, we choose to dine a la carte on the winter evening when we visit. Taking recommendations from the restaurant manager, we begin with the cool and flavoursome Salmon Kibbeh Nayeh (AED 115). Presented tableside from within the grinder in which it’s prepared, the raw salmon (similar to a tartare) is mixed with burghul, tomato, shallots and spices, before being presented in a large block of ice. The impressive starter is only matched by the Jawaneh Dajaj (AED 48), a dish of gloriously large chicken wings doused with molasses, garlic and Aleppo chilli for a fiery kick.
Presentation is simple yet thoughtful and portions are generous enough for sharing, meaning we’re able to try several dishes, including the Crispy Shrimp (AED 85) and Short Rib and Mushroom Kibbeh (AED 95). The former is combined with walnut and chilli and offers a spice sensation where the crisp exterior gives way to the plump shellfish. The latter is adorned with bejewelled pomegranate seeds and soaked in pomegranate molasses to provide a discreet sweetness to the hearty mix of short rib and earthy mushrooms.
For the main course, you’ll find the expected options from the charcoal oven and grill, including Lamb Chops, Ouzi, Adana Kebab and Striploin. However, we chose to indulge in the gloriously tender and beautifully spiced Shish Tawook (AED 85), marinated in lemon, cumin and sweet chilli. We’d also recommend the Seabass (AED 155), elevated by a Lebanese harra sauce that complements rather than overpowers the perfectly filleted piece of fish.
The decadent desserts on offer include Al Magheeb Pavlova, Warm Date Pudding and Umm Ali. We found ourselves unable to resist the Kunafeh (AED 40) with its baked pastry, stringy akawi cheese, chopped pistachios and a generous pouring of sugar syrup.
Al Magheeb offers a delightful dining experience on the trunk of the desirable Palm Jumeirah. A place where good food, entertainment and a social setting converge beneath tented canopies as traditional oud music drifts through the air. For those looking to prolong your magical Arabian night, the venue also features an upstairs shisha lounge.
GO: Visit www.fairmont.com for reservation and more information.