Almaz by Momo
Delightfully creative dishes in a charming setting Discuss this article
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On the ground floor of The Galleria, Almaz’s décor is uplifting from the moment we walk into the café. The Parisian- and Moroccan-inspired design marries floral banquettes, geometric tiles, and harmoniously mismatched furniture.
Almaz has three seating areas: indoor, outdoor, and an in-between room flooded with sunlight.
We sit outside, looking over the water surrounding Al Maryah Island. To celebrate a leisurely lunch, we order fancy mocktails: La Vie en Rose with rose water and raspberry syrup and the Ginger Kick with ginger, kiwi, and apple. The drinks were charmingly presented, the first in a stemmed glass and the second garnered with kiwi and apple slices.
Almaz specializes in Moroccan and North African dishes. We start with the chef-recommended Machuia, a roasted and marinated pepper dip. Served with khobz, Moroccan white bread, this starter is a perfect introduction to our meal. The tomato and burrata salad impresses us more: featuring raw, sundried, and roasted tomatoes, accompanied by a fresh, creamy burrata.
Almaz’s presentation makes dining a really fun experience. We get ‘couscous vegetables’, which comes with a mountain of couscous, golden raisins, and a bowl of broth and vegetables that our waiter ceremoniously pours into the couscous. When he notices there aren’t many vegetables in the broth, he brings a second portion for free.
The grilled salmon also arrives on our table artistically. The salmon sits atop a creamy potato mousse, sprinkled with a homemade mustard sauce to cut its richness, and crunchy roasted vegetables. With three distinct flavours and textures, each bite of this dish is exciting.
Since Moroccan cuisine combines North African, French, and Spanish influences, and given the success of the first two courses, we feel we have to try dessert. We are given a cute dessert menu but venture to the pastry and ice cream counter to examine the options. Almaz is generous in offering samples of each of its ice creams – the cinnamon must be the best in the city – but we settle on a pear sorbet and lemon tart. Both are light, sweet notes on which to end the meal.
Almaz’s staff is made of true professionals. They are friendly, prompt, and helpful, but do not fawn next to your table, which sometimes happens in Abu Dhabi. Generosity is one of the restaurant’s best qualities, and it is also sweet that two of our waiters introduced themselves and welcomed us back after our meal.
With chic décor, some of the best service in the city, and delightful creative dishes, Almaz is a reason to smile. The café is trendy but relaxed, and fulfils several niches well.
The bill (for two):
La vie en rose drink Dhs36
Ginger kick drink Dhs36
Tomato burrata Dhs65
Grilled salmon Dhs95
Couscous vegetables Dhs57
Two ice cream scoops Dhs15
Lemon tart Dhs28
Total (excl. service) Dhs354
Time Out Abu Dhabi,
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