Founded by an Armenian family living in Beirut in 1996, AlMayass is a traditional concoction of the family’s roots mixed with that of the authentic Lebanese culinary style.
The idea of AlMayass kicked off by restoring an old villa in the heart of Beirut. Since then, the restaurant brand has opened branches in New York, Doha, Riyadh, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi and now in Dubai.
The family’s philosophy towards life in general and their close relationship with one another helped in setting the corner stone’s of uncompromising guest service and follow up. Evidence of their Armenian roots is ever-present, from the warm, exotic spices that they have fused with Lebanese cuisine, to the vibrant colours and decorative fixtures throughout the restaurant.
Founder of Almayass, Shant Alexandrian, shared with us his delight in opening in Dubai: “The success of Almayass internationally and of course in nearby Abu Dhabi, has highlighted the obvious need for a branch here in Dubai, where there has been great interest and demand for a presence. A restaurant such as this has enormous potential to fill a very obvious gap in the Dubai market. We know there is a niche for authentic Lebanese-Armenian cuisine and clients who have visited our branches abroad have been clamoring for their own spot, here in the city.”
Upon entering, KM was greeted with hot towels and traditional Armenian soup and salad. The white lentil soup had several different herbs and smelled fresh like a green orchard, a very healthy option for health conscious diners. The salad had a mesmerizing twist to it, it was a wholesome vegetable jinx with a fruity and a sour taste. Truly exotic! It was later followed by a sweet virgin Pina Colada as refreshment.
We were then treated to raw beef served with garlic sauce and bread. We have to admit that it was a unique experience for us and we haven’t had anything like it anywhere else. Following this came a beef platter in cherry sauce. The salty beef with the sweet cherry created a smooth and perfect transition of a sweet and sour combination. We were thoroughly impressed.
Next was the Sheesh Tawook platter. Most restaurants maintain the typical sheesh tawook in skewers and a large bread underlay, but this specific one arrives on top of chili bread in a cubic format. The creativity in the presentation was outstanding and it tasted just as good as it looked!
The dessert was definitely the pièce de résistance. It was a kinafeh unlike any other. The dessert came in a bun style with a large mass of cheese filling served with sugar syrup on the side. According to concept manager, Tony, “We keep seeing the same old traditional flat kinafeh served in every other Arabic bakery shop. Our idea was to play with geometrical styles to create a unique presentation with a laudable taste to match. Our kinafeh is definitely one of a kind.”
We completed the dinner with an Arabic coffee and an Armenian tea, both of which were truly commendable.
The ambiance and experience were as scintillating as the quality of the food and the drinks.
Our final verdict: It is a flawless luxury experience with a great price to boot. A must visit! Fully licensed and with capacity for 170 covers, this is a foodie adventure not to be missed.