Located within the bustling Souk Madinat Jumeirah made to recall a vibrant Arabian market place, Times of Arabian offers an extensive Lebanese menu but appears largely geared towards the tourist who dines at the restaurant out of happenstance.
For any Dubian out at the Souk Madinat Jumeirah, the ambiance comes alive in the evening. Stores are still open selling various Arabian trinkets and memorabilia and a variety of restaurants and cozy wine bars scatter amidst the shops offering a place to retreat, wine and dine. Times of Araabia has always attracted my curiosity. The restaurant features typically Arabian decor with bright lanterns and bedouin-like tents placed on the outdoor terrace. The atmosphere is surely for those who want to experience Lebanese cuisine yet among traditional Arabian decor.
My guest and I decided to sit outside on the balcony under one of the tents. From our positioning, it was easy to admire the bustling scene below of visitors gravitating to bars and restaurants and pulling out their latest shopping purchases. It was dusk and it was a nice accompaniment to listen to the birds chirping from the nearby Palm trees. A friendly waiter soon greeted us and provided us with a vast selection of salads, hot and cold mezze or quick appetizer in Levantine cuisine, meat, grills and seafood. We quickly opted for a traditional meal Lebanese style and ordered a selection of mezze and fattoush – a bread salad made with fried pieces of pita bread, tomatoes, olives and cucumbers – for the starters, and seafood for the main. The fattoush was zesty and fresh but nothing impressive by Lebanese standards. The Mtabbal, grilled eggplant with sesame paste, lemon and garlic (one of my favorite cold mezzes) was good but average in taste. My grilled hammour fillet was prepared well and arrived bountiful on my plate. Tender, moist and grilled well, I was satisfied.
For dessert we opted for an array of Arabic sweets with soothing Moroccan tea. The experience was to be expected for someone who has now lived for years within the Middle East. Decent cuisine, friendly staff and warming decor, Times of Arabia is best suited to the tourist wandering through the Souk Madinat Jumeirah who is in search of a typically Arab experience.
The restaurant is open from 12:30 – 02am daily.
Souk Madinat Jumeirah, +971 4368 6044.