Very good Middle-Eastern food at decent prices in Abu Dhabi Discuss this article
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Judging by the name plastered across the outside of the building which houses Alhan, you could be mistaken for thinking this a lavish, Middle Eastern restaurant. But take the lift up to the second floor, and you might be a tad disappointed at first. Don’t worry, the disappointment doesn’t last long. And because we want to save you the disappointment (which really isn’t worth it in the long run) we’ll prepare you for what to expect.
Alhan is one of those hang-out joints that folk come to smoke shisha and socialise at, complete with Arabic music videos on multiple screens, which you hate to watch but can’t peel your eyes off. It also feels a little threadbare, but we wonder if it seems so only because we were expecting something else. Don’t think about this though. Instead, take in that sweet smell of shisha combined with the buzz of conversation and Arabic music overhead, and if you’ve had a bad day at work, you’ll be feeling much perkier in an instant.
The warm staff will welcome you with smiles and local hospitality to a seat of your choice. Note to those who enjoy a bit of alfresco dining – these people have a most excellent terrace on which to puff away whilst reclining on comfy couches. Unfortunately for us, the world was caught in the grip of a sandstorm when we visited, so we opted not to sit outdoors.
The menu focuses mainly on Middle-Eastern cuisine, but also has stuff like pasta. Because we are sound of mind, we do as the proverbial do in Rome, and order from the grill. Our shish taouk packs the flavours of a fine marinade, and is accompanied by fries and a fresh salad. Our lamb chops are equally satisfying. Tender and nicely grilled, they are complimented by a tahini-yogurt sauce dip and the fresh salad stuff you’d get in your shawarma – you know, the finely sliced onions, tomatoes and parsley sprinkled with sumac combination. Our only disappointment over our chops was that they were rather lean (we like a bit of bulk and fat) and that they were not accompanied by chips.
Our mezze selections were certainly decent, but we had a little problem with them. They arrived tardily after our mains (and after we’d asked what had befallen them) for some reason, which robbed us of the chance to enjoy the fresh bread with our hummus, while the bread was still warm.
The bill (for two)
Cold vine leaves Dhs25
Hummus Beiruty Dhs23
Shish taouk Dhs55
Lamb chops Dhs70
Total (excluding service) Dhs173
Time Out Abu Dhabi,
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