Friday, December 24, 2010

Dubai Restaurant Review: Sezzam, Mall of the Emirates

In a nutshell: great view onto Ski Dubai, varied menu and good food.

The restaurants around Ski Dubai are a great place to sit in the run up to Christmas so you can look at the snow and imagine (for a short while) that you're having a White Christmas. When my friend and I arrived at Sezzam, not only was there the snow but Santa and his helpers were also there singing Christmas carols! A great atmosphere, although (not to sound like Scrooge) we were glad when they stopped singing because their microphones amplified the sound so much it was hard for us to talk.

Sezzam, although located in the mall, is actually officially one of the Kempinski Hotel's restaurants. That means they are able to serve alcohol - they have a black curtain across the 'alcohol' section so that non-drinkers can't be offended. The restaurant is laid out with various open kitchens including a Chinese one with roasted ducks hanging up, an Indian one with a tandoor oven and an Italian one with a pizza oven. The menu is suitably varied to include all these cuisines and prices are fairly standard with main courses in the Dhs 60-80 range. On a Friday they have a brunch and over this festive period we were advised there was a buffet option, but it was easier to order a la carte and stay glued next to the window - especially since my friend's baby was fascinated by the sight of the winter wonderland.

I initially fancied the Peking Duck but they only offer a half duck and I thought that might be a bit too much just for me so I ordered the duck fried rice instead. I could have had my usual grilled fish with chips and veg but in a restaurant offering more variety I decided to have something different. The portion was generous and the no garlic and black pepper request had been followed, however, there was a bit too much onion in the rice for me and the fat and skin had been left on the duck but they weren't crispy so needed to be pulled off. I also felt that the amount of vegetables mixed into the rice could have been a bit more generous - I don't count onion as a vegetable! Despite the small niggles, it did taste very nice and my friend really enjoyed her vegetarian Indian dishes. Another time I wouldn't have the duck fried rice, if I go with Simon then he can share the pancakes with me. The staff were all friendly and service was efficient although I think our waiter was quite new since his English was still quite stilted.

The good sign at the end of the meal was that my friend, who had never been there before, said she would definitely need to take her husband back there to try it...phew!


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