Kept it casual for my last Iftar at Al Falamanki. I felt right at home amongst the homemade fruit jams and sauces at the authentic Lebanese cafe Al Falamanki which has opened its doors internationally for the first time in Dubai.
To start off our traditional Lebanese dining experience, I opted for the yellow lentil soup in all its creamy goodness. I was already half full by the time I got to the bottom of the soup bowl, so I had to order a drink to cleanse my palette. Served in vintage mason jars aptly labeled ‘Ice Cold Drink’, the lemonade was an energizing refreshment to quench our thirst after a hot summer’s day.
My sister loves anything with potatoes, which is why when they brought these freshly cooked summac potatoes to our table, she was the first to dig in! It was crisped to perfection on the outside and soft on the inside with a unique sour punch, which was surprisingly new to our taste, but satisfyingly so.
The hashed chicken in a ceramic pan was my favorite appetizer from the abundant variety of starters that filled a table for four (when we were just two), which could have easily passed for a main dish in my books if there had been rice on the side.
Growing up in Dubai, aside from the local shawarma from the neighborhood cafeteria, Lebanese food was the Middle Eastern version of soul food. The meat and rice dish with pine nuts and fried onions, is the ultimate comfort food that has always been a star at every Iftar I’ve attended through the years.
Before heading home, I browsed through the wide selection of homemade preserves in flavors even I couldn’t imagine existed, available for purchase in a fully stocked pantry by the entrance of the restaurant. If you want a taste of Lebanon in your home, head on to Al Falamanki and take one, or two, of these sweet confections home with you.
And that’s a wrap! Thank you Al Falamanki for your service with a smile, your food prepared with heart, and your home as rich as mama’s kitchen.
Jumeirah Beach Road
Jumeirah 2, Dubai
Photographed by Samantha Malimban and Faith Rodriguez.