Arabic food is a conglomerate of various regions, the ever so popular Lebanese, the lesser known Syrian & the snooze inducing Jordanian. Yamal Al Sham is a place that offers flavours from across the Middle East. An invitation from Mr Muzamil arrived & we headed to their restaurant for a taste of the Middle Eastern regional food.
The place is Huge with a Capital H. They have a wonderful outdoor seating area with a miniature version of the Burj Khalifa as well as a colorful water fountain. Walk in & you have 3 levels of seating done with wooden flooring.
The ground floor houses the Open Kitchen where you can literally watch your kebabs being grilled, the Bread Oven, the Juice Bar & the Sweet Shop. If i thought this was it, they have 2 more levels of seating with the staircase walls adorned with pictures from across the Levant region.
The service was very prompt & the steward Jewelyn ( I hope I got the name correct) engaged us in wonderful conversations about the place. We went in with most of his recommendations apart from our standard cold & hot mezze order. I love to judge an Arabic restaurant by what I believe are my 5 staples: Hummus, Baba ganoush, Shawarma, Falafel & the Bread. Gave the Babaganoush a miss this time as I had a lot of eggplant for dinner the night before :D, replaced it with the recommended Yamal Al Sham salad.
The Hummus was creamy, perfect texture and taste without being sour as some places tend to make it ( The same places which I don’t visit again), the Bread was super soft on 1 half while crisp on the other… Full points!
The Falafel crunchy without being too doughy, although the Shawarma could have used a bit of Tahina to in it.
Yamal Al Sham salad was an interesting take on the Caesar Salad with artichokes & avocados, lettuce & the Caesar dressing. Loved the textures of artichoke & avocados with the crunch of the lettuce & the mayo dressing.
The Yamal al Sham Mocktail with a medley of fresh fruits (Did i taste strawberry & banana there) & the Fresh Orange Juice were the liquid accompaniments to our meal.
For the Mains, we ordered the Mixed Grill that came in with the barbecued Meats, kebabs & Arayes on a portable grill. The Meat Arayes was my pick, polishing off within moments of the first bite & wanting more of it. Perfect seasoned meat, texture of the bread around it.
The Chicken Kebabs with delicate flavors & tender meat came second on my list followed by the “Must have in every grill Lamb Chops”. Perfect portion size for 2 people & no wastage on the plate as well.
While we wanted to raise the white flag, I couldn’t say no to their Kunafa. It arrived on a stove with the flame below keeping the cheese from becoming stodgy. Cheesy, sweet with vermicelli base was a fitting end to the Levantine meal. The top could have been crispier but it’s just me trying to minutely scrutinize my favorite Arabic dessert every place I go.
We dined in as guests of the house but a meal for 2 would be approx 230 -240 Dhs.