Arabesque meets contemporary, a concept that Qbara has been able to execute to perfection. This new lounge and restaurant, has a menu that is instantly impresses-an array of dishes cooked in typical Middle-Eastern spices but with a modern twist.
The décor is breathtakingly creative and cleverly designed, by one of the most revered architects in the world, Noriyoshi Muramatsu. The statement chandelier is awe-inspiringly stunning with hundreds of mouth-blown bubbles dangling in different colors. Inspired by ‘flying carpets’ square cut pieces of traditionally crafted rugs adorn an entire stretch of a wall.
The meal starts with a mix of freshly baked Arabic breads that are hard to resist when dipped in a sharp but flavorful za’atar and olive oil dip. Freshly cut salad and a homemade truffle infused labneh are brought out on a grand brass platter and perfect to start with while waiting for the food.
The humble saj sandwich has been given a more exotic touch, served with soft-shell crab and a garlic and harissa paste-it is a must-try. The usually lamb filled kibbeh is replaced with sweet lobster meat and a side of avocado dip, a dish we still dream of!
For the mains, the mild tasting seabass is coated with a walnut and herb crust giving it a more nutty and luscious taste. The marinated veal chops are cooked to perfection, accompanied with grain mustard and za’atar butter the dish is hearty and flavorful.
Milk & Honey is the favored dessert that comes highly recommended. It's topped with soft and sticky saffron pashmak, which is the regional version of candy floss. Once you dip your spoon inside you will find a rich and indulgent sweet treat of greek yogurt and sumac panacotta which is an absolute delight.
Qbara does things differently; they have taken typical local spices and mixed them with ingredients that haven’t been paired together before. The recipes are innovative but the taste is heavenly. The combinations are complicated but the balance of flavors is in perfect harmony.
Qbara is located at Wafi Fort Complex, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. +971 4 709 2500. www.qbara.ae
– Saira Malik