Abdel Wahab

Abdel Wahab

Great food, great setting, unfortunate service 17 Reviews

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The night we visited Abdel Wahab, the Lebanese restaurant at Souk Qaryat al Beri, it was still a little on the chilly side, but we couldn’t resist sitting outside for the picturesque view of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque across Maqta Creek.

There always seems to be a healthy mix of people dining at Abdel Wahab, and this mid-week evening was no different. The restaurant was surprisingly full with a mix of locals, ex-pats and business types staying at the Shangri-La next door.

Knowing that to attempt a starter-main-dessert order of business was an exercise in futility, we dived straight in and ordered a bevy of cold and hot ‘starters’ and one item from the grill. The hummus was a nice creamy consistency and the flavours were well balanced. While kebbeh nayeh – an Arabic version of steak tartar made with raw lamb, spices and wheat – is not for everybody, the version served here is excellent and definitely worth trying if you haven’t before.

The stand-out dish for us was without a doubt the chicken livers, which are served piping hot from the pan, perfectly cooked (with not one over-done, powdery tasting morsel on the plate) in a tart, more-ish sauce made with pomegranate molasses and lemon juice that had us wiping the dish clean with fresh and fluffy bread still warm and puffed up from the oven.

Aside from the service, which we’ll come to shortly, the only disappointments were the tabbouleh – which was somehow dry – and the spinach fatayer – little parcels of spinach and pine nuts wrapped in pastry that were delicious, but luke-warm and had clearly not been freshly heated.

From the grill we ordered the shish taouk, chunks of chicken breast skewered and grilled into submission. The chicken was tender with a lovely sear on each piece and came with fries and that garlic dip that no one is ever entirely sure the ingredients of. the dish is very well executed, but we often find that the mezze or starters at an Arabic restaurant are always so flavoursome and delicious that the grills are usually a tad on the superfluous and disappointing side, no matter how good they are.

Finally, a note on the service. We’d like to begin by saying that we are fans of Abdel Wahab and visit regularly. Usually the service is perfectly acceptable, neither intrusive nor absent and always extremely friendly and helpful. On our most recent visit, the same could be said right up until the very end of the meal. A large-ish party was seated next to us and that seemed to distract the staff rather more than it should have. We had to ask three times in 15 minutes for our table to be cleared of the empty plates and dishes and had to give up on the idea of ordering dessert for fear of waiting an inordinate amount of time for it.

The bill (for two)
Hummus
Dhs20
Tabbouleh Dhs24
Kebbeh nayeh Dhs35
Fatayer Dhs24
Chicken livers Dhs28
Shish taouk Dhs48
Total (excluding service) Dhs179

By Time Out Abu Dhabi staff
Time Out Abu Dhabi,

Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.

Details

  • Location: Souk Qaryat Al Beri, Bain Al Jessrain, Abu Dhabi
  • Tel: 02 558 1616
  • Travel: Between the Bridges

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Abdel Wahab On The Map

User reviews

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DecorFoodOverall
  • Users voted this restaurant most suitable for: Family friendly

User reviews:

Posted by: Customer on 02 Feb ' 13 at 09:33
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Edited by TimeOutAbuDhabi.com

1) Food is average 2) The service is HORRIBLE. The service is so bad that even if you like anything at all at this place you just wouldn't go back

Posted by: danish ali syed on 18 Dec ' 12 at 19:57
OverallDecor
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

shisha

Posted by: Maria on 24 Jul ' 11 at 01:27
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Amazing food, but HORRIBLE BAD BAD BAD SERVICE

Posted by: Andy on 04 Mar ' 11 at 15:58
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Edited by TimeOutAbuDhabi.com

I think some of the above reviews are very harsh - I ate here just the once. I found it a friendly and easy going atmosphere, and i thought the food was fresh and excellent (I've never had lebneh before - fabulous). The waiter service is very familiar compared to what i've seen elsewhere in Abu Dhabi but i thought that was quite refreshing Overall a nice place, not too expensive (no different from hotel prices) and for a restaurant in a faux-souk it was pretty good

Posted by: samar on 05 Feb ' 11 at 14:51
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Awfully expensive. Unjustified expense for what you get. The head of the waiters acts as if we need him, and as if he is giving us the ultimate gourmet that we should be so appreciative. We went there to watch the fountain, it's not the right place, you can go to the opposing Dean and Delucca in Dubai Mall and better view. My son ordered grilled prawns, the dish came only with 4 pieces, and the price is 82 Dirhams!!
The food is absolutely not delicious excpt for the Hommus.
I definitely advise you against going there.

Posted by: María CS on 21 Jan ' 11 at 09:00
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

My husband and I stepped in some days ago with some friends and it was crowded. The food was pretty good but the service... absolutely not. It seems all Lebanese restaurants in Abu Dhabi areto blame for that. Please, try a bit harder and improve your staff´s skills and attitude.

Posted by: D Evans on 02 Jan ' 11 at 07:12
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

An absolute shocking experience, considering other restaurants on the Souk / Shangri La site. Greeted with disdain, by wannabe gangsta-rapper types (v macho aggresive - why?), made to wait, dumped in a corner, dismissively took order, forgot one drink, served 'corked' wine & shocking food. The only redeeming feature of the previous reviews was that the food was good. Well ion this occasion it was poor. Never, ever again.

A disgrace.

Posted by: Ramy on 26 Dec ' 10 at 08:51
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Furthere to my previous comments, I will never visit this restuarnet again

Posted by: Ramy on 26 Dec ' 10 at 05:25
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

the custmor service is very bad , the food is not hot and very expensive we did not enjoy it at all the only good thing is the view but otherwise everything is very bad will never visit that resturant again

Posted by: Customer. on 31 Jul ' 10 at 10:26
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Edited by TimeOutAbuDhabi.com

I don't understand how anybody can afford to open such a business, and still lack the insight of hiring professional waiters. They are the interface between the customer and the restaurant. I guess their superior "I don't work for you" attitude with us was also a reflection of how the management set its priorities when they first opened this place. The food was old, and some was obviously recooked, and above all that PRICEY. I would be surprised if this place was still open next year. Note to the waiters who were senior executives in other lives: learn some humility, its handy, and just might take you beyond waitressing someday. Will never recommend this place to my enemies.

Posted by: ahmed on 12 Jun ' 10 at 07:49
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Well I also disagree with the review; the writer didn’t order any of the main Lebanese dishes, I think he doesn’t know what to order.
When we visited Abdel Wahab last time the food was delicious, the tabouleh came fresh the hommos, moutabal was very tasty.
I really recommend this restaurant.

Posted by: ali on 12 Apr ' 10 at 11:50
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

The place is filled with shisha smoke
The appetizers were even not that good, the taboula was dry we had to ask for it to be fixed

Posted by: Fatima on 11 Apr ' 10 at 11:56
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Well the place soaks of SHEESHA odore, their appetizers are not so bad but the main dishes (meat not fresh at all), waiters are in LALA land and needs to be more alert to the costumers demands.

Posted by: 007 on 06 Apr ' 10 at 06:46
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Well, I am also writing my second review on my recent visit again to that place, and let me tell you, I will take back every good thing I said about that place the first time. The service now flat out sucks. The waiters at that place need to go to a serious hospitality training course, or maybe replaced altogether. You literally have to ask twice for everything, Olive Oil anyone? Maybe you need to wait 10 minutes and remind the waiter again and again. In addition, the food really lost a lot of its original hype. Most of the Tapas dishes we ordered were not fresh enough and did not taste the way they are supposed to. Burned potato widgets, chicken in chicken fatta tasted stale and old. We ordered Grilled Hammour and we got 4 small pieces in a white plate with no garnish making the plate scream for color. Very bland and tasteless and it is 79 AED!!!!!???People that will go back to this restaurant will go back not because of the food, but because of the location and shisha (which is at 59 AED a piece is not by all means cheap). Save your money and try something else in Abu Dhabi. The restaurant scene is booming here.

Posted by: manea on 22 Feb ' 10 at 12:39
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Well I like the Food so much, and i agree with 007 the reporter failed to order lebaneese food which Abel Wahab meant to be for. anyway the food was great with the proper amount to fill you just perfectly, not that you will fell "sick" full. I liked the dessert also, i think it is better than any specialised lebaneese dessert shop. went there two times and definitely going again.

Posted by: Danny on 27 Nov ' 09 at 19:50
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

I would not never go back to this restaurant because of its useless policies..i along with my wife went there on a Thursday evening at 10:30pm and the restaurant was almost empty… I went and sat on the table outside so I could have view of the marina. The server was there immediately and I ordered for two shisha’s. The server asked me what about food, I told him that I just had my dinner and I had just come to have shisha. So the server tells me that they have a cover charge of Dhs100 for the table.
I would still consider paying the charge if the restaurant was full. It was almost empty at prime dinner time. I think that’s the reason why it was empty in the first place because of their foolish policies.

Posted by: 007 on 02 Aug ' 09 at 06:32
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Well, I am not going to agree with the review, completely. Maybe it was a soft openning. What the reviewer failed to do is order and evaluate the regular Lebaneese fair. I ordered Mutabbal, Chicken Fattah and mixed grill and they all came fresh and tasted really good. With a large bottled water, the bill came to just AED 117 which is cheap in comparison to other Lebanese resturants that charges the same. The service is spotty and could be better as we did not get our silverware except after we asked for it. Overall, not bad and very good food and I would go back.

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