One fact about me: I love to eat. And that I can also be adventurous when it comes to food. I love trying out new cuisines and no matter how weird a dish might look like, I'd still try it. What the heck, life is too short not to come out of your comfort zone when it comes to food.
So weeks ago, when I got an invite to try out Arabian cuisine at the grand opening of the Zayzafoon Restaurant and Lounge at Bawabat Al Sharq Mall in Baniyas, I didn't think twice of saying yes. I did have an idea that the place is an hour bus ride from Abu Dhabi (thanks to Google) but that didn't stop me from going. Now, unlike me, my husband's not a fan of Arabic Cuisine (he is missing a lot, I know!) so I asked a good friend of mine to join me. Good thing she's up for it so after office, we took the bus and off we went to Baniyas.
It was a long ride indeed, but it was all worth it. We were warmly welcomed by the friendly staff and then immediately ushered to our table so we can right away start with the Arabic feast.
A typical middle eastern meal starts with a mezza (or appetizers) which can be hot or cold. When we arrived, the hot mezza dishes are already served on the table. The selection is so huge, it was actually a mezza feast! I had a hard time deciding which one to eat first, LOL!
Half an hour later, our server approached our table and asked us if they can serve the cold mezza next. I was like, "What!!? We aren't done yet with appetizers?"
I'm so sorry for not taking down the names of the dishes served to us, I was just so busy eating! I wasn't able to take a photo of all the dishes as I couldn't be bothered. Hahaha! They are just so (and again, here comes the only word I can think of when it comes to food I like)... yummy! LOL.
I've read that Middle Eastern food is healthy as most of the recipes use only olive oil. And that if you are a vegetarian, you'd love this cuisine as it offers a lot of options: hummus, meatless soups and stews and salads filled with veggies and spices. And that night, we have all of that in front of us. So yeah, my so-called dieting just flew out of the window!
For the main course, we had two options: Lamb and Fish. I went for the lamb while my friend chose Fish.
After tasting both, me and my friend went for the Lamb. It tastes delightfully flavourful, and the meat is so tender, it almost melts inside your mouth. My friend who was not so keen about eating lamb because of the smell/after taste gave her thumbs up as a sign of approval. It was definitely good! I just wished it comes with more meat than rice.
And just when we thought the feast was over, we were served with desserts. I was so full already but the rather colourful presentation of the fruit platter made me still reach for my fork and have some.
I dunno what this dessert (photo above) is called but it does taste weird. It doesn't taste like anything I've tried before. I'm not saying it tastes bad, it's sweet…and weird for me.
That night I met Krystle, a fashion designer and fashion blogger I see in Instagram. I had to shake off my shyness to be able to say Hi. She's so friendly and we had a few good laughs too!
There were a lot of entertainment that night. There were musicians, a magician and a caricaturist.
We really had a good laugh over his caricatures! Good thing I didn't bother asking him to make me one, or else…Hahaa!
Me and my friend enjoyed our time at Zayzafoon. Yes, we had to take another hour-ride back to Abu Dhabi but we didn't really mind. It was a great night indeed.
Zayzafoon Restaurant and Lounge is located on Level 1 of Bawabat Al Sharq Mall in Baniyas, an hour-bus ride from capital. They have a shisha lounge in an outdoor terrace and they also offer themed event nights including entertaining Arabian live shows and music, BBQ and Grill, Shisha and Ladies nights.
To know more about Zayzafoon, check them out in Facebook.