Sometimes all you need is a bowl of hummus and plenty of bread to mop it up with.
New Lebanese restaurant Beirut Khanum specialises in “forgotten dishes” that a “great great grandmother would prepare in her kitchen.” Luckily the old dear hasn’t forgotten about hummus – that delicious blend of mashed chickpeas and olive oil.
We take a seat outside on the terrace in one of the restaurant’s signature yellow seats and watch shoppers file past on Sheikh Mohammed Boulevard.
A menu of mezze (small plate) options and main courses let you explore Lebanese cuisine, if you’re new to Levantine eating, or pick out old favourites.
We order stalwarts hummus, kebbeh and fattoush salad with fried khubz, or bread. Hummus Beiruti style (pictured above – AED 36) comes with a delicious overload of garlic. It’s exceptionally creamy and fine if you both do. Kebbeh patties (AED 32) are packed with minced beef to the right ratio of bulgar wheat and the fattoush (AED 28) doesn’t skimp on the lip-smacking pomegranate molasses and sumac that packs a lemony wallop.
An excellent juicy kofta comes with plenty of warm bread (AED 65) and the mhloukhiyyeh (pictured above – marrow leaves, like a cross between spinach and okra) swim with chicken in a warming, lightly spiced stew (AED 55). Served with oil and vinegar to add to taste, it’s the region’s comfort food at its best.
Even your tata would approve of the portions. “Eat more,” the waitress exhorts us, as we climb a hill of food.
Despite its humble, close-to-home concept, Beirut Khanum is named after Al Khanum – a female aristocratic title used in Central Asian and the Middle East. We leave not with an entourage, but the rest of our meal packed up for the next day.
Dubai Week dined as a guest of the venue.
Beirut Khanum. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard Road, Downtown Dubai. Noon-midnight Sunday to Wednesday, noon to 1am Thursday to Saturday. 04 241 3334.