Mezza House is a really popular place around Down Town Burj Khalifa for many things actually; lovely Lebanese food, outdoor seating by the street overlooking Burj Khalifa, shisha and even a singer at night. Sounds good right? Well I had to find out myself. Admittedly I have been there before, but never with the intent or observation to review it. This time… that changed.
Walked in (in? it was outdoors… walked out? but we weren’t in… anyways…) and stood there for a few seconds waiting for anyone to take us to a table but the waiters were all too busy. Sat down at a free table with no sign of being reserved and we had to call a waiter to get us the menus. Service wasn’t up to a great start clearly. The place was almost full with about 2 or 3 empty tables outdoors, still I can forgive a little busyness but not being ignored of course.
Mezza House has a theme in presentation, especially with food. They use copper or copper coated/colored platters, bowls and utensils.
The theme begins from the placements on the table. One baring the table number and the second is the tissue holder.
Soon enough the menu had arrived and they have a wide variety of Lebanese foods to satisfy everyone’s taste. The word “Mezza” is an Arabic word for a type of starters, and they come as hot mezzas, cold mezzas and raw mezzas. The menu has big sections filled with all these starters alongside a lot of main courses and grills. They are famous for a very unique mezza experience, so I had to give some a try.
To start things off, we ordered some soup, and I went with their Mushroom Soup.
This was actually very interesting. I got this copper pot with a little holder and a little place under the pot for a little candle. There was no candle but I can imagine it would be a really nice way to keep the soup warm. Lifting the slightly hot lid revealed the soup, along with the spoon. As far as appearance goes, it was unique, I like that.
As far as the taste goes, it was really good. The soup was creamy, not too thick, not too watery, it was just right. The soup had a unique taste to it, unlike most Mushroom Soup I have had in the past, but in a nice way and that really was a good experience. The mushrooms were lovely too, slightly spongy (crunchy? I dont know had a little bite to it you could say) and tasted lovely.
On the left we have the Vine Leaves. These were slightly vinegary, had cream and pomegranate sauce on top. It does give a little sweet / vinegar taste to it which is really delicious and unique. The only downside with the stuff vine leaves was that the stuffing’s rice was a little too over done and was too sticky on the inside. Which lead to it being a bit chewy and sticky in my mouth. The taste was there, but it needed to be a little less chewy. This is how they do it though, I have had the same experience before as well.
As far as the Tabbouleh, it was really nice. Fresh ingredients and a good amount of lemon which was very refreshing. If you are not aware what Tabbouleh is, you can read more on the Levant starter here.
For the main dish, we wanted some mixed grills so we went with the Combo Grilled Platter (which is a better value than two ordinary mixed grill plates).
The platter is actually a wooden plank and the food is laid on a rectangle piece of bread (It was also covered with it, but took it off for the photo) the platter had:
Sheesh Tawooq (Chicken Cubes on the left). The platter had 3 skewers of the chicken cubes. They were really soft, tender and delicious! It was marinated and juicy. With the chicken skewers, they had some mushrooms which were also marinated.
Meat Kebab (Meat Cubes in the middle). The platter had 3 skewers of the meat cubes. They were a little hard. The marination was a little light and wasn’t full of flavor as the sheesh tawooq. Slightly stringy and chewy. Not bad, but not amazing either.
Meat Kofta (Minced Meat stuck to a skewer and grilled). The platter had 3 skewer lengths of the minced meat. These were lovely as well, they were marinated well, really soft and just melts in the mouth. Very nice.
The platter came with a half cut green pepper filled with garlic paste, grilled tomato and onion. Aside from the platter, came a serving of french fries.
These came in a little copper container as well. The french fries were ordinary tasting but were sprinkled with some spices, which did help make the fries rather unique. It was nice, although I would have preferred some more spices!
The Service: This is certainly the biggest (do I dare say “only” ?) issue I have had at Mezza House. The service was bad. We had to literally call down passing waiters, some would respond and some would just not hear the call. The shisha was brought quite quickly, but coal was changed only after hunting down the person in charge. After a little while, half way through the meal, all tables were full, and service levels just dropped. After eating, there was a lot left over and I had to tell two waiters to take the food away and wrap them up for take away. Some servers were quick to react and answer what was needed and others would just pile things up and things got delayed. Upon leaving, we just got up and left and no one was around to thank us or so, but then again it was outdoors so I am not complaining, it certainly didn’t matter but is an overall “experience” thing to expect.
Weirdly enough, there are a lot of staff walking around and even a supervisor or manager. I would expect service levels would be better than what it was.
The Value: 1 large bottle of water, 2 soups, 1 Combo Grilled Platter, 1 Tabbouleh and 1 Vine Leaves serving came up to a total of 242 Dhs. The price is a bit pricey, especially since the service wasn’t up to par, but the food is certainly delicious, unique and of a good quality.
The Place: 7 / 10
The Service: 4 / 10
The Food: 7.5 / 10
Overall: 6.2 / 10
I’d recommend Mezza House because the food is delicious, but be aware that the service might disappoint.