It was a nice Friday today, and after shopping in Dubai Mall, It was time for some food! Needed a place with shisha and that really narrowed down the options. Been to a few, and as I was walking I saw Wafi Gourmet! Brilliant! Lets go! I have always been meaning to try their food.
The weather was pleasant outside, not too hot, so we decided to go sit outside.
Walking in, you see their little supermarket theme where you can buy all sorts of Lebanese food stuff, and on the side there was the grilling kitchen. Once we were out, things started to disappoint..
Out doors there were two sections with two different types of tables and chairs for the same restaurant, I found no consistency in their furniture, and it was not comfortable either. We walked out, and no one greeted us, nor even looked at us. We had to go through a maze of tables (I do think they should be more organized than this) and I had to ask for a waiter to find a table. Upon asking for a table for two, he took us to a table that was right beside some other people. We would have been like 15 CM or so, beside some other people, and I could understand him offering that if it was the only place, but there were at least 10 other free tables! Of course, I rejected and asked for another table, which they agreed. I do not know why they haven’t thought of spreading people out comfortably in the first place.
Soon after sitting, not immediately though, they brought the table setting, menu and asked if we wanted water.
First of all, the tables were not very clean, there were water rings and the ash tray was a bit dirty as well. I do understand that it is outdoors and it could get easily dirty, but at least wipe the tables every once in a while to keep things clean for new guests.
The Menu had a wide selection of starters and salads. This being a Lebanese place, it really catered for salads. There were mainly all sorts of grills and seafood as main dishes and a wide selection of Arabic sweets.
For Starters, we went for A plate of Hommos, Wine Leaves, and Greek Salad.
As they arrived, they looked appetizing, and certainly was time to dig in!
The Hommos: Disappointed. It looked good, the texture was near perfect, it was creamy rather than grainy, and very soft. So what disappointed me? It was too salty! With bread it was a bit better, but with less salt it could have been lovely
The Wine Leaves: Really good. Very Vinegary but that is how it is at most Lebanese places. It tasted nice and the ingredients were cooked well.
The Greek Salad: Again, salty! The Vegetables were fresh, clean and nicely cut. The Cheese cubes were delicious. I do not know why the salad and Hommos was salty. It literally throws off the plate.
The Bread: It was really soft, warm, hot and a little crispy on the center (top and bottom). It was freshly baked and I really liked it. With a less salty plate of Hommos it would have been amazing, too bad.
For the main course, we ordered Mixed Grills.
First thing I noticed was something that really turned things off. The plate was not in a good condition. It was not clean. I do not mean that they have not been washed, but the plates seemed to have been used for so long that the edges have blackened! How could they serve people plates that are in this condition?! A high end restaurant with a big name!
Putting the dirty plates behind me, I dug into the food:
The Sides: The plate came with 2 Pickled Cucumbers cut up vertically, a tomato that seemed grilled, and a slice of bread that has a little greens and a spicy sauce. I did not care for any of these really, they were just ok.
The Chicken Cubes (Shesh Tawooq), On the left: It was alright. It was grilled well, tasted alright, but nothing really special. It was ordinary.
The Minced Meat on a Skewer (Kofta), In the middle: Unlike the usual, it wasn’t grilled on a Skewer. It was acceptable. It didn’t blow my mind or count as delicious, but it was fine. It also had Risoni (Lesan Asfoor) in it.
The Meat Cubes (Kebab), On the right: It was well grilled, and tasted quite alright. There were two pieces of Fat and Onion grilled on the same Skewer.
The Service: It disappointed. The waiters did not welcome or even notice we walked in. They wanted to give us a table stuck beside other people when there were many empty tables. Not a single waiter smiled or was happy to serve, it seemed more like we were a burden. The only smiles came from the Shesha guy. The only plus point was they did care about coming and refilling the water. There is a lot of staff around, and at any one time there is at least 3 people around but for some reason, the service was not great.
Another important factor is the general view of one incident, after asking for the bill, I put the money in and handed the bill back to the waiter. He stood there, looked at the bill, starred at the money for a bit and then only moved. I found that awkward. Upon leaving, the only one who really cared to say anything was a lady at the entrance, she thanked us for coming. All the waiters around us who served us and the manager of the area didn’t.
The Value: 3 Salads, 2 Mixed Grill Plates, 1 Large Water and 1 Pepsi came to 260 Dhs. I do not think this is good value for this place. The service standards, the quality of the place, and the mediocre food is not worth this amount, even though you have clear views of the Fountains.
The Place: 4 / 10
The Service: 3 / 10
The Food: 4 / 10
Overall: 3.7 / 10
I would not recommend this place. There are many worthy alternatives in Dubai Mall, even with the same type of cuisine and views.