Amore Cafe & Resto is strategically located bang opposite the entrance of Souk Al Bahar on The Boulevard, Downtown Dubai and boasts of stunning views of the Burj Khalifa. I received an invite to try out this Lebanese joint, and enjoyed some of the best Levantine dishes I have had the pleasure of eating till date.
It was a lovely sunny Dubai afternoon, the perfect setting for a lunch date at The Boulevard. Amore Cafe & Resto has floor to ceiling glass windows that take full advantage of the stunning views of the neighbourhood. You can also opt to dine alfresco, but with the soaring temperatures outdoors, we were forced to choose a table inside.
The interiors are suave and simple with grey leather upholstery and brick walls. A few Arabesque touches reclaim the restaurant’s Levantine roots, and the serveware is playfully colourful and inviting.
Amore Cafe & Resto has the option of a buffet lunch for as low as AED 49 per person. Add 20 bucks, and you can puff shisha while you eat. Given the location, I think this is great value for money!
We were hosted by a very cheerful young man called Mohammed who handed us copies of the menu, and left us a platter of almonds, olives and beans for nibbles.
I love the look and feel of the menu at Amore Cafe & Resto; hardbound like a vintage read, the menu takes on the appearance of a prized stamp collection album with images of vintage Lebanese stamps across the menu offerings.
While flicking through the menu, we sipped on refreshingly tangy-sweet glasses of Amore Cafe & Resto’s Mint Lemonade. A perfect cooler for a hot and humid Dubai afternoon.
Here’s a look at what we had for appetizers:
I absolutely devoured the hummus at Amore Cafe & Resto! It was sinfully smooth, creamy and delicious. Unabashedly dressed with copious amounts of virgin olive oil, the hummus here is served with a generous pile-up of almonds, pistachios and pine-nuts.
We swiped this bowl of hummus clean with the freshly baked, light as linen Saj bread that was served on the side.
Fattoush is one of my all-time favorite Arabic salads. This tangy mixed-green salad usually comes with the crunch of deep-fried pieces of pita bread, but at Amore Cafe & Resto they have upped their game by replacing these with very pretty little rolls of crisp Zaater-infused morsels. These add the much sought-after crunch element to the dish, and also accentuates each bite with a hit of Zaater. Absolute genius!
The other salad on our table was the Amore Cafe & Resto’s Rocca Salad, a beautifully refreshing medley of rocca leaves, cherry tomatoes and onion infused with the Mediterranean flavors of olive oil and sumac.
A naughty treat on the table was a bowl of Spicy Potatoes. These wee cubes of deep-fried potatoes have been tossed in a decadent mix of chili, garlic and crushed coriander seeds. One bite and you can’t stop!
The star starter on our table was the Falafel. Having spent my childhood in the Gulf, I have eaten my fair share of Falafels and was rather reluctant to order this fearing it would be far too filling before the main-course. However, when Mohammed brought it to the table, we were in absolute awe with the presentation! This has to be the prettiest plate of Falafel I’ve ever set my eyes on!
Living up to its name, Amore cafe has a real love for Levantine classics, and works its magic at enhancing both the appearance and taste of ever popular favorites. The falafels here are super crunchy, so much so that you can hear the crunch at every nibble! It comes with a light tahini dip on the side that acts as a refreshing respite from all that falafel richness.
For our main-course, Hubby was adamant on trying their Mixed Grill Platter. What better way to get a sampling of all their cuts? In true Amore Cafe & Resto style, the presentation of this dish was an absolute show-stopper.
The Mixed Grill at Amore Cafe & Resto is a generously large serving of mixed cuts including Kebab Shekaf, Shish Taouk, Koftas and Arayes (Arabic Pita Bread stuffed with minced meat). Each and every morsel was beautifully marinated with flavorful spices. The meat was soft and tender even after a good 15 minutes into the meal. Despite being chargrilled, nothing was overly dry or over-cooked.
The Mixed Grill comes with a serving of spiced fries. The fries have been deep-fried to a crunchy golden brown, and are coated with a very delicious spice mix of paprika and garlic. At Amore Cafe & Resto, the sides are as good as the mains!
Oblivious to the fact that the mixed grill platter would have easily sufficed between two, I ordered a main-course of Slow-Cooked Lamb Chops with Stuffed Zucchini and Grape Leaves. This option listed all my Levantine favorites on one platter! Who can resist a moreish lamb chop, slow-cooked to tenderized perfection in a divinely delicious lemon broth? Add to it a generous serving of Stuffed Zucchini, a moreish Levantine classic featuring steamed zucchini filled with rice and ground meat. If that wasn’t enough, my plate was also loaded with tangy stuffed Grape Vine Leaves. Such a shame I couldn’t do justice to this plate; everything on it was an absolute treat.
By the time we ended our meal, we were craving a good, hot cup of coffee. My pretty, frothy cup of cappuccino helped me down all that Levantine goodness and I ended my epic lunch date at Amore Cafe & Resto with a shared serving of their most popular dessert, Tiramisu.
I can see why their Tiramisu is such a popular dessert option at Amore Cafe & Resto. Decadently creamy without being overpoweringly sweet, this dessert has the perfect balance of creamy goodness with a hint of deep, dark roasted coffee. We had spoon wars over who gets the last lick!
Amore Cafe & Resto lives up to its name. With a sheer love for Levantine favorites, the restaurant manages to revamp street-food classics into gourmet cafe-style treats. Given the gorgeous views and suave, stylish ambience, this would make for an ideal spot for lunch with friends and family. In the evenings, I envision myself sitting at the patio puffing shisha, with a platter of that decadent hummus with saj bread on the side.
Rediscover the charms of Levantine cuisine, revamped to match the majestic surrounding of The Boulevard, Downtown Dubai. Amore Cafe & Resto is located on The Boulevard (Downtown Dubai) right opposite the parking entrance of Souk Al Bahar. Call 04 4535416 to reserve a table today. Bon apetit!