The Grand Cafe is a Lebanese High end restaurant & cafe, located at the Boulevard and is very accessible from Dubai Mall. It is a family restaurant because in spite of being an elite restaurant, it doesn’t serve alcohol as told by the manager so that families and ladies could freely come. It is a two storey restaurant.The top is outdoor sitting area with a panoramic view of the Boulevard and a huge LED where people can sit and enjoy a football game when the weather is pleasant.The ground floor was the lavish one with highly elegant interiors and chandeliers with an indoor and outdoor sitting options. I don’t know why I never happened to visit this incredible restaurant before. Only if I had known how grand my experience would be, I would have gone long time back.
The interior of Grand Cafe is very rich and extravagant. The mosaic ceilings hung high and you will see numerous decorative pieces with bright lights were all so mesmerizing. The whole atmosphere was very lively. They have a live band playing everyday during dinner time, which makes you feel as if you’re a tourist on a luxury yacht.
We started off with Soup – Yellow Lentil and Wild Asparagus Soup. Served in a big sauce pan and with a side of bread sticks. Both the soups were equally good and light on stomach which was a good thing.
For the drink we chose a cocktail. It was fresh mix of Banana, strawberry and mango.
Grape Leaves – I was expecting the leaves to be stuffed with rice but surprisingly the quantity of rice was lesser than usual. It had more of other filling like tomatoes. It was different yet delicious as hell.
The presentation for Hummus was marvelous and it tasted fresh as ever. Drizzled with Olive oil and garnished with a mint leaf, it was food for my eyes. The potion was bigger than usual restaurants.
For Salad we ordered Fattoush – The fresh vegetables were drizzled with pomegranate molasses and lemon dressing. One of the best Fattoush I have ever had. It was surely the most unique one.
Spicy Potatoes – I was expecting the potatoes to be cube as they are traditionally in Lebanese restaurants but it was more like wedges. A good starter to nibble on. Not as spicy as I had expected though but it was good.
Grilled Kibbeh – The Kibbeh was stuffed with mince and pine nuts. It was grilled over charcoal and served with side of yogurt. Again it was different from the kibbeh that I’m used to having at Lebanese restaurants, not just because of its flat shape but also because of the charcoal flavor. It tasted divine with the dip.
Chicpeas Fatteh – Full marks on the creative presentation. However, I did not enjoy this dish as much as I thought I would. There was something missing in the flavor but I can’t explain what. I don’t mean to sound rude but I’ve had better fatteh at other high-end restaurants.
Cheese spring rolls – This is my all time favorite starter that I order almost everywhere. The cheese inside was mixed with herbs and it wasn’t too messy or too liquidy to eat. I loved it. It was served with a salsa like dip which was good but I prefer eating it on its own.
While we enjoyed our starters, the band was playing some awesome tunes on a violin. They played a variety of instruments and mainly Arabic songs. But I did hear the violinist play Lionel Richie’s “Hello” which made the whole experience so memorable for me.
Grilled Prawns – The prawns were grilled to perfection but a little too dry and bland for my liking. I expected them to serve a tartar sauce or any sour/spicy dip with it to balance out the blandness, but they served a yogurt dip instead which I did not enjoy. If you’re okay with the blandness then it’s a perfect seafood dish to order.
Kebab Kashkash is Mr. A’s regular dish that he always orders at all Lebanese restaurants, hence we followed his ritual. The kebabs were soft and the sauce was good because it was a little spicy. It tasted perfect with their freshly baked Pita bread. I even dipped my prawns in this sauce and they tasted even better.
Ashta and Rose water Cigar – The outer part was crispy like a wafer and sugary while inside the cigar was a creamy pudding. There was a lot on the plate than it seems. Strawberries, Pistachio, Rose water, caramel…Mr. A just loved this dessert.
Chocolate Fondant served with a side of Vanilla ice cream. This is my most favourite and most ordered dessert by the way. But this one wasn’t their specialty at all. The outer cake may have been a little under-cooked because I could taste and smell raw flour which was definitely a bummer. The souffle inside was okay. I just enjoyed the pecans with vanilla ice cream in my dessert plate.
We finished off the night with some green tea with mint for the lady and Grape sheesha for Mr A.
Statutory warning: Sheesha Smoking is injurious to health.
I would like to thank Grand Cafe for inviting us for tasting and giving us a great service. Even though the restaurant was busy, our server was outstanding. There were some famous Arab singers dining in that night still our service was uninterrupted. The food kept coming and he attended us very professionally. So the service was excellent. A special thanks to the Manager Mr. Muhammad Mirza who was kind enough to sit with us and give us a briefing on the concept and the history of the restaurant. No matter how hard I try I can’t capture the Grandeur of the Grand Cafe in words. One must visit the restaurant to experience what it feels like to be treated as royalty.