October 12, 2011

A Lebanese Eatery to Try

After reading reviews about Zaroob on so many blogs, I finally decided to give it a try. What I thought must have been a hidden gem was far from. I mean, it can definitely be considered a gem, but it's not hidden at all. I realized I've seen it hundreds of times, but never thought to explore it - mainly because its lit up sign never appealed to me. However, I've heard a lot about it's funky interior, and funky indeed it is! I was immediately excited by all the colors and action going on. It's got this green feel with the wooden benches and tables, and is set up in a really quirky way. You can decide whether you want to sit at a regular table and bench, or at a high chair at the food or juice bar. That's right, they make what seemed like every fresh juice you could want, with the addition of several interesting cocktails. The art work is very alive and can speak to people of all ages with its pop feel. The kitchen is open and there's constantly food being served around you (and you don't leave smelly which is great!). It's a perfect place to go to during the week; it's small, cozy, has a lively happy mood and the food is served quick! 

We ordered a bit of everything; my favorites were: the Balila, chickpeas with garlic and some other herbs/ spices (just don't get this if you're on a date); Falafel, which was bite sized - perfect because too much isn't always that appetizing. The Baked Eggs came with sesame seeds and spices, served directly from the oven in a very hot plate. The taste was good, but I can't eat hard yolks, I like them very runny. The Hummus was delicious, something about it was different; it was much whiter and creamier than what I'm used to. The fatoush was also yummy, and by yummy I mean the dressing had just the right balance! Anyone who knows fatoush, knows the dressing has to be spot on otherwise it's not fatoush. 

Even though they don't serve very heavy meals, we were two, and were stuffed before we even got on to the saj. Zaatar saj is my favorite generally, but I was disappointed by the one I tried here. It was very greasy and tasted oily. It doesn't compare to Zaatar w Zeit's one on brown bread. I didn't even try the lahme bil ajeen (minced meat with spices) because I was told it wasn't good. The Akkawi cheese saj was not bad. I could just be used to Zaatar w Zeit, but all in all their food tastes much less greasier, which is what I prefer. I was with a friend who doesn't mind greasy food, and he also felt the same way, so that says something. 

 We were planning on going for two desserts, but the food was just too much. We just went for the Nutella saj because people raved about it. The thing is, it's not easy to go wrong with Nutella, unless you're a Kinder Joy, but a Nutella saj needs to be done right, otherwise it's not worth eating. There needs to be enough chocolate to ooze out, but not too much that it's off putting. My friend wished the chocolate was a bit more melted, but I was fine with it. Again, the bread was greasy and I can tell because I've had very good Nutella saj before. This one wasn't exactly how I like it, but I 
did scrape off every dot of Nutella left on the wooden board it was served on, so I'm not really going to complain. 

Overall, I loved the interior mood and lively atmosphere, the service was good and the presentation of the food was super! The little colored buckets with sauce really made my day. However, there were a couple items on the menu that weren't available, so maybe best to go for lunch? Since I was a little let down by the food, but loved the atmosphere of the place, I'd give the experience a 6/10; I loved the starters, and when I go again will stick to those. 

How to get there: take a right at the Financial metro station by the Al Attar tower and make a second right. You'll find Zaroob around three buildings down on your left. 

Happy eats xx

1 comment:

  1. Hi May, I'm visiting Dubai this week and am really excited, Are there any other places you could recommend? Also, if you are free sometime during the next one week or so, I'd love to meet you over coffee. I've been reading your blog for so long now and I'm curious to meet the person behind it!


    Let me know! ayshatanya@gmail.com