I’ve been to Zaroob thrice in the last two weeks after recently eating at the Palm Jumeirah branch for the very first time. No wonder this place is so popular. They serve simple, affordable food in a casual setting. Their tagline is Levant Street Eatery and you get dishes from all over the region including many familiar dishes like falafel, hummous and manoushe, plus others I’m less familiar with such as fateer, kaak and sammoun.
If, like my former self, you’ve never been to Zaroob, you’re missing out. You can get a full spread of food to feed four for around AED 200.
Their flagship 24-hour branch is on Sheikh Zayed Road and they have outlets popping up all over Dubai (one branch recently opened in Sharjah, there’s another at the Golden Mile Palm Jumeirah, and another opening soon in Dubai Marina).
On this occasion, we visited for a late breakfast and started with a pomegranate juice and a lemon and mint.
The halloumi salad was relatively basic.
I loved the simplicity of this flat labneh manoushe.
But my number one favourite dish was the fatteh hummous. I’d never before understood the appeal of fatteh – I mean come on, pieces of bread, chickpeas and yogurt? This is the ultimate Arabic comfort food. Zaroob’s version has pieces of fried pita bread (the kind normally found on a fattoush), chickpeas, and a warm garlicky yogurt. Sprinkled with pinenuts and a lashing of olive oil. Best eaten with a big spoon.
The Egyptian fateer is very similar to the rotee sold by street vendors in Thailand (but with different fillings). This one was filled with soujuk sausage and a stretchy cheese.
My least favourite dish was this rather bland dish of beef and tomatoes. At least it gave me my daily dose of lycopene.
Verdict: Cheap and cheerful, casual ambience, yummy food.
Note to self: For the best experience, balance your order – not too bready, not too creamy. On my second visit, a manoushe, saj and kaak was too much bread for me. Hummous and fatteh hummous together too creamy. The above balance was just right.
Tel: 04 551 3883
Chow for now!