Al Mayass is a Lebanese foodie institution of sorts. The legendary chain was first opened in Beirut circa 1997 by an Armenian family, and has since expanded to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Qatar, Riyadh, and New York.

The menu here is predominantly Lebanese, and also features a number of Armenian favorites. I visited the Dubai branch (located in Sofitel Dubai Downtown) earlier this month, and got a delectable insight into the authentic cuisines of the Levant. 

Boubouffe (pronounced ‘Bou Bouf’), the chic deli-style Lebanese restaurant, has moved from Sheikh Zayed Road to a cosy nook in Business Bay. The brand new branch boast of a scenic patio facing the urban jungle of the Downtown Dubai area, and I am sure it would be a lovely spot to have an idle sip and nibbles on a breezy evening. Sadly we are in the peak of summer right now, and forced to find a table indoors.

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The interiors are beautifully lit, spacious and inviting, and have the look and feel of a chic boulagerie you might happen to walk into on the cobbled streets of Paris. ‘Boubouffe’ translates to ‘food overload’ in French, but apart from the name and chic Parisian-style interiors, the restaurant’s menu has nothing French to offer. Instead, expect to be treated to a very authentic Lebanese fare.

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 word ‘cafe‘ is getting a major face-lift in the Dubai foodie scene. From what one would presume to be a simplistic setting for catching up over cups of coffee and a pretty pastry, you have the likes of Indian import Farzi Cafe offering a lineup of much talked about molecular gastronomy treats, and then I had the pleasure of dining at Grand Cafe Boulevard, a Lebanese fine-dining cafe that treats its guests like royalty.

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Where else in the world do they roll out a red carpet for guests entering a cafe? This was the VIP welcome we received at Grand Cafe Boulevard! The cafe is located diagonally opposite The Address Downtown Dubai, and you need to drive up the Dubai Mall Fashion Parking ramp to get to the valet service offered right outside the red carpet.

Last week I got invited to the media launch of Atlantis The Palm’s newest addition, a Lebanese fine-dining restaurant called Ayamna. Keeping up with the classy decorum of Atlantis, the interiors of Ayamna reflect on the intriguing romance of a bygone era. Walking down the winding, majestic staircase, the restaurant resembles an enchanted mansion where the hospitality of the glorious Lebanese past has been magically brought to life. ‘Ayamna’ translates to ‘Our Time’, a forgotten time of solace and merriment, of good company and great food.

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