Al Mallah at Satwa has a deep rooted history with Dubai residents. Kids who have grown up here still have fond memories of late night trips for a Falafel sandwich or shewarma here. It is a stop where people park in their cars & just honk for their orders to be delivered in their car. It is a place where they have dinner once they are done partying.
We were in that zone where our evening snacks were too late (8pm) & hence we weren’t in the mood for a full fledged dinner. Al Mallah seemed the right place to try out at this time.
Ambiance: Al Mallah is literally located on the sidewalk. The outdoor seating with the green umbrellas just speaks of the old place charm.
Even the tissue box hasn’t changed from the old days.
The Manakeesh Oven is also out in the open giving a delightful view of the Manakeesh actually fluffing up & cheese melting over it.
The Shewarmas are being assembled in front of you.
Falafels being fried up also
Chicken on the Machine is being slow grilled making it so difficult to resist the temptation & avoid not ordering it.
It is a great interpretation of the open kitchen concept.
Service: The Service was amazing from the word Go. When the server asked us ” How many people ?” & I replied ” Two and a Half” pointing to the Little Critic, he burst out laughing setting the tone for a wonderful service experience. Table was readied, baby Chair was arranged, Food was served quickly & the Owner also joined in to interact with us. Superb!
We were served the tahini dip, a platter of salad, pickles & bread just after confirming our order.
The Salad, especially the gerger leaves was super fresh & the tahini dip correct consistency. Given the pampering of being served Fresh Hot Bread in other Lebanese restaurants, the letdown here was the pre-packed Arabic bread which was cold & hence avoided.
Watermelon Juice: Very fresh, right amount of sweetness & great taste. Went in for a repeat of this.
Chicken & Mexican Chicken Shewarma: Having heard a lot of praise for the Shewarmas at Al Mallah, the actual experience was a downer.
Especially the Mexican Shewarma, where the meat unlike other places wasn’t spiced on its own but a dash of hot sauce added.
The Chicken Shewarma also didn’t measure up to the tag of being one of the best in Dubai. I have had better.
Falafels: The Falafels came in with another set of their high expectations , having seen them being fried in person. But, they were too large & hence too dense. The exterior was crunchy but the inner filling became too heavy.
Pricing: 55 Dhs for the overall “snacking” experience which is very reasonable priced.
Final Verdict: I respect the heritage associated with the place & the great setting & service, but in terms of food, it didn’t measure up to the other Shewarma/ falafel joints.