There are very few Lebanese restaurants that I recommend. Mallah on Dhiyafah road for shawermas and falafels and Al Safadeh for grilled chicken/meat sandwiches and oven baked goods such as zaaatar manoushes/meat pies.

Falamanki has recently opened its doors in Dubai, across from the Four Seasons Hotel on Jumeirah Beach Road.

In Beirut its known for, late night visits after an evening out and longstanding battles of backgammon on its terrace.

We, particular mother, good company father and myself, walk into the hall like space, which is divided in half.

The first, crowded, full of conversation and most of all smoke, the smoking section. The second, quiet and empty, I slide my chair back and fill the space with noise as I take my seat, the non-smoking section.

The design is simple, checkered tablecloths, Lebanese knickknacks on the wall and that’s about all. Substance over style, I never say no to that.

We make our orders of mini mezza, (hommos, carrot tahini, beetroot tahini and eggplant with pomegranate molasses) labneh and cheese platter (labneh, cheese, zaatar chanklish and olives), mixed grills, fatoush and a basket of saj bread.

The platters, salad and saj bread arrive to furnish our table.

Each to his own desire, sample their favorites. My father the zaatar, my mother the hommos and the eggplant for myself. The taste of smoked eggplant lingers in my mouth as I offer my mother a try.

Mrs. Particular says, “This eggplant is from Lebanon” and confirms my endorsement of the dish.

A game of checkers is set in motion on the tablecloth as we pass each other small plates, left then right and up then down.

The mixed grills follow suit, although doesn’t receive our endorsements as Al Safadeh reins strong.  Paprika on the fries, why?

To rectify we call upon a zaatar saj manoushe with veggies to crown.

And to end, Mr. Good Company challenges me to set of backgammon. To accompany my good company, the best cup of anise in Dubai.

When I return, which happened on several occasions, I order the mini mezza and labneh and cheese platter, a fatoush and end with an anise.


Location: Accros from Four Seasons Hotel Jumeirah

Price for 2: AED 250