Al Mayass

Armenian cuisine at one of the city's best kept secrets Discuss this article

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Walking into Al Mayass at the beach side of the Sheraton, we immediately felt that we had entered someone’s cosy cottage. Wooden floors, Arabesque tiles and red cushions made the venue seem very homely and inviting. The staff mirrored this spirit, with wide smiles and warm demeanours. We were seated by the large windows in the shisha section, looking out at the outdoor patio area. The venue attracted a decent amount of customers for an early Wednesday evening.

We soon flipped through the Armenian/Lebanese menu. While we were busy choosing, a complimentary plate of fresh zaatar leaves with pieces of tomato were delivered to our table. This could be eaten with warm Arabic or toasted bread. It was a very refreshing start to our dining experience. There were many signature dishes from both cuisines and we soon settled on some courses. Our appetisers consisted of tabbouleh, itch salad, kibbeh nayeh and basterma Mayass. Within 15 minutes of ordering, our starters began to fill up the table.

The itch salad consisted of cooked bourghoul in a fresh tomato sauce served on a large cabbage leaf. This dish was superb – fresh and full of flavour, it would certainly grab the attention of anyone who loves tomato-based dishes. The tabbouleh was executed well, however the parsley leaves used were too rough for our tastes. The basterma consisted of little pieces of toast with basterma slices and quail eggs. This dish was excellent, the quail eggs were served sunny side up and complemented the basterma sublimely. The portion consisted of several mini bites which soon left no trace on the plate.

The kibbeh nayeh was served with large slices of white onion and bread. The portion was huge and the dish was among the best we have ever tried in the city. Not many people are keen on eating raw meat, however this offering was so well prepared that it could surely convert a newcomer.

We drizzled the meat with a few drops of olive oil, then covered the portion with a large slice of onion and then scooped everything up with some Arabic bread. The experience almost became a ritual.

Soon after we had demolished our starters, our mains arrived. The lamb cutlets were grilled and tender. The kabab be karaz was a culinary experience; the sweet cherry sauce carried the flavour of the kabab really well and the combination of sweet and savoury was perfect. The Armenian dish is a traditional one found in regional restaurants and this version was great. Overall, our experience was impressive. The staff and food were exceptional and the venue is a great outlet for a good meal and ambiance.

The bill (for two)
Itch salad Dhs28
Tabbouleh Dhs38
Kebbeh nayeh Dhs48
Basterma Mayass Dhs42
Kastaleta ghanam Dhs70
Kabab be karaz Dhs74
Total (excluding service) Dhs300

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: Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi
  • Tel: 02 677 3333
  • Travel: Corniche Road

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