A dear friend and an amazing chef, Chef Edward (or King Edward as I like to call him) is the star at Al Halabi. Whether it is afternoon tea with dessert or a proper full course meal, Chef Edward’s culinary delights always has me going back for more. Located in the Mall of the Emirates, Al Halabi has a rich variety of local culinary flavours including plenty of vegetarian-friendly options for diners like me.
So what are you waiting for? Come and experience the real taste of Lebanon and its heartwarming hospitality at Al Halabi. But before you do, don’t forget to check out my top five favorite eats!
1. Mhammara Shamieh
Starting right off the top is the Mhammara Shamieh. Made of pomegrante molasses and walnuts ground into a thick paste, this spicy red dip has me licking my fingers everytime. When dining with me at Al Halabi, this is one dish that I will most definitely not share with you. Gluttony wins big time!
2. Hummus Beiruti
No Lebanese meal is complete without Hummus, and Al Halabi is no exception. Hummus has been a staple of Middle Eastern cooking for centuries. Literally meaning “chickpea” in Arabic, Hummus is commonly garnished with pine nuts, lemon juice, chili flakes, mint leaves and olive oil. The Hummus Beiruti version uses a more generous (and yummier) amount of garlic cloves.
3. Eggplant Moussaka
One of the most traditional dishes in Lebanese cuisine, the Eggplant Moussaka consists of green bell peppers, tomatoes, chickpeas and olive oil. While I love this dish with the freshly baked pita bread, note that cold eggplant is an acquired taste. That being said, being a bit adventurous is all part of a great food exploration! So I say, dive in at Al Halabi!
4. Aych El Saraya
Working on a post, sipping on hot tea, taking a bite off Aych El Saraya… it’s my idea of a productive afternoon. A layered cake of bread pudding and Ashta, Aych El Saraya comes garnished with crushed pistachios and sugar syrup on the side. Like most Arabic and Lebanese sweets, this luxurious dessert at Al Halabi uses Ashta (also known as “Kashta”). Ashta is a clotted cream prepared with rose water and orange blossom water, and is known as the king of fillers.
5. Halawat Al Jibn
The dough in this classic Lebanese dessert is made traditionally of semolina and cheese. And like Aych El Saraya, Ashta forms a major component of Halawat Al Jibn. It comes garnished with pistachios and rose petals, as well as sugar syrup on the side. Owing to the dough and stuffing being made of Ashta, this dessert is on the heavier side. But it tastes phenomenal! And that’s why it’s one of my top five favorites at Al Halabi.