I will admit that it is not the first time that I’ve seen Indian cuisine in a fine dining setting but I have heard a few good things about Mahec, and I had even followed them on Instagram. It was only a matter of time before I gave them a visit.
Located in the heart of old Dubai, Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre is the perfect spot for a place like Mahec, it’s close to both Deira and Bur Dubai and is a part of the hotel which means they serve Alcohol too.
Being a part of the hotel means that they have the ability to spread their wings in the fine dining department and they do it very well. The place is elegant, warm, and cosy. There is a good blend of dark woods, calm lighting and comfortable furniture. The only thing that probably did not fit the luxurious ambience was the Cricket playing on TV.
Although the dining room looked fresh, there were signs outside the dining room that showed age. Perhaps a refresh is due soon, but I am just being picky.
We were greeted and welcomed by the staff who were always smiling and happy to serve. We were welcomed by the Head Chef who did a good job introducing some of his favourite dishes and told us that he’d set up a set menu for us to try as many things off Mahec’s menu as possible.
Their menu is quite impressive with a wide variety of dishes ranging from some traditional North Indian dishes to the common Indian dishes we all hear, order and love at any Indian restaurant.
To start things off, we were presented with the Indian restaurant equivalent of a bread basket.
Assorted flavours to get the palette rolling served with crackers and poppadoms. The poppadoms were great, standard but great, while the crackers were a little spongy compared to being cracker-like, perhaps a day old. The sauces, if you can call them sauces, were fresh and my favourite would definitely be the mango chutney.
Before jumping into the actual starters, we were presented with a bite-sized…. starter.
This is where I am going to raise the white flag and fail as a food blogger. I have absolutely no clue what we ate and drank. I will, though, try.
The drink was primarily a cleanser made from herbs and black pepper. I would have loved to get the ingredients but it was a secret recipe. As for the hors d’oeuvre, another secret recipe but it was a combination of curry flavours, cream, cheese on a nice cracker. I will try to get more on this to share with you all.
Overall, I did not really fancy the drink, although the hors d’oeuvre was delicious and certainly an explosion of flavour!
Now that we got the welcoming, greeting and hor d’oeuvres out of the way, it was time for some serious Indian cuisine.
Oh yes! A platter of beautiful, shiny and delicious looking grills just waiting to melt in your mouth. Sounds like a cliche, but honestly, it is the truth. Ordinarily, these would each be a dish of their own, but since we wanted to try as much as we could, they served us a sample platter.
Starting from this end, we begin with the Gosht Ki Pasliyaan which is a delicately flavoured and cooked lamb chop in a clay oven. Unfortunately for them, their menu description does not do justice to the flavours in these lamb chops. They were extremely succulent, oozing with spices and were just delicious. Could easily but once of the nicest.
Next up is their Achaari Jhinga, Char-grilled prawns marinated in pickled yoghurt. It was really nice, although the flavours could not beat the flavours of the lamb chop. The grill on the prawns was perfect. I would so not be disappointed if I had tried this only.
Going around to the other side, we find a vegetarian option. I will be honest, I am not a huge vegetarian fan, but I could have eaten a platter of this, no regrets!
So what is it? It is their Paneer Asparagus Roll, thin slices of cottage cheese rolled with spiced potatoes and asparagus, cooked in a clay oven. It started to be evident that either the chef knew what he was doing or this clay oven was magical because the flavours coming out of there were incredible. The roll was soft, but held together quite well, well spiced (might be a lot of some people) and just melted in your mouth.
Finally, we come to the traditional Murg Tikka, boneless diced chicken marinated with yoghurt and red chilis, again cooked in a clay oven. Needless to say, it was delicious. I might criticise it to say that the chicken was a little too soft, I like my chicken to be held together a little bit more, and maybe fewer spices. There was a very evident layer of thick spices which might be much for some. I personally liked it but could have easily loved it.
Since we had basically a flavour explosion, it wouldn’t make sense to just add more spices to it, so they served this.
A lemon and rose sorbet. The flower is edible and they seem to like serving edible roses at Mahec. It was alright, I wouldn’t purposely order this but it was cold, fresh and definitely cleansed the palette for what’s to come!
And here it is! An assortment of Mahec’s signature dishes served with a variety of fresh bread.
Let’s get into it then..
The center of attention was the Lamb Biryani, which was a beautiful blend of fresh spices, lamb pieces and basmati rice. Served with fresh Pudina Tamatar Raita – diced tomato and mint in sweetened yoghurt – which definitely helps bring any spice levels down a bit.
From the left, we had a Prawn curry, cooked in coconut and tamarind spicy gravy with dry red chilies, which was delicious. A little too coconutty for me personally but had a nice flavour. It was only the beginning of a taste explosion.
Next up, was a beautiful lamb dish which was their Kadai Gosht (I believe it was this one, they are pretty similar) which is a spicy tangy gravy of onion, garlic, tomatoes and coriander seeds, dry red chilies, black peppercorn and cumin seeds. The overall flavour was very incredible and the meat was cooked really nice and tender. Definitely a dish I would order on its own with some bread or rice.
After that we got into the two favourites of mine, the Murg Makhanwala (Butter Chicken) which was extremely rich, buttery and fully of amazing flavor served with chicken which was succulent and cooked perfectly and the Dal Makhani, whole black lentil and red kidney beans simmered overnight with traditional spices, flavoured with butter and fresh cream.
This was another vegetarian dish that actually left me thinking, huh, I don’t really need to order meat or chicken! I would totally have this on its down, very rich, creamy, full of delicious lentil flavours, cooked perfectly.
And just when we gave up and couldn’t eat any more of this delicious food, they served dessert!
It started off with a Pistachio ice cream served with a sugar hay – very creamy and light – probably was my favourite dessert
Then we experienced their Chocolate Surprise, which was actually quite a surprise! Not because of the whole sauce melting the chocolate ball, since it’s way too over-done, but because the flavours were a bit odd to me. The sauce was a pineapple and star anise sauce, which was a little too tangy for my liking and the filling was thaudai foam, which had a light caramel or custard texture to it. I personally would skip this, the mix of the sweetness with the tanginess did not work for me.
Last up was their Bombay Pudding, which is their own creation of walnut brownie, gulab jamun layered with cardamon flavoured milk custard. At first, I thought it would be just straight forward and boring, but it actually had a nice flavour to it and was light. I liked this.
Overall, it was a lovely experience at Mahec. The staff was nice, well informed, helpful and there was plenty of staff covering the dining room for when any request was to be made. Their menu is varied and full of delicious dishes, serving almost all tastes and spice demands. The place itself is also quite a delight to be in and I could tell why it is a popular spot for Indian fine dining cuisine. Some of their dishes weren’t just good, they were exceptional and I would definitely come back again for those!
The Place: 6.5 / 10
The Service: 7 / 10
The Food: 7.5 / 10
Overall: 7 / 10
If you’re bored of the traditional Indian places, primarily the ones at malls, Mahec is a great alternative for a lovely evening of fine dining with Indian cuisine in a great ambience.