It’s Friday evening and I’m literally popping next door, or a few doors down should I say, to Somewhere! Yes that’s right Somewhere, it’s a new hotel which has recently opened in Barsha Heights (formerly Tecom). This is my first visit and I’m popping in to check out the new Lebanese evening at their restaurant called Nay, which takes place between 7.00pm and 1.00 am every Friday. Priced at 170/AED per person the evening includes a buffet and BBQ, Shisha, and entertainment by a Belly dancer.
We choose to sit outside on the terrace as the weather is perfect and my guest is going to partake in Shisha. On leaving we spot a small indoor Shisha room as well although personally I only like sitting next to someone having Shisha when it’s outside. The interiors of Nay are cute and quirky which is fun and there’s even a fictional character on the wall. Board games allude to his memories of Lebanon, back in the day, my dining companion tells me with a sense of nostalgia. We choose to dine outside and the terrace is a reasonable size with seating at one end and a small live BBQ and Shawarma Station at the end. The lighting is pink or blue mainly which is fun but means that food photographs are a big no-no as the food does not look great in a Neon Glow.
Starters come in the form of a mezze selection from inside which we help ourselves to. There’s quite a variety of salad items including some great middle eastern olives, halloumi in oil, the usual Arabic salads including Tabbouleh, fattoush, Babydoll Ghanoush, Mutable, Mouhamarah etc. The presentation is spot on for the dishes and we pile our plates high with these dishes. There’s also a wide selection of Mediterranean salads and loaves of bread which we leave aside as we are trying to stay authentic to the spirit of the evening.
Main Course :
For mains, we ask the chef to make us a selection of kebabs from the grill, which are cooked to order and brought to our table. Forgoing the offer of Ketchup or BBQ sauce, we ask if there are any more authentic dips and are brought some fiery Harissa and garlic sauce which hits the spot perfectly. The kebabs are good and being cooked to order, they are perfectly hot. There’s also a chicken shawarma station as well as a selection of other main dishes, which we don’t try along with hot mezze dishes which we do. We get a selection of kibbeh, sambousek and cheese rolls and they are ok, not the best but not the worse that we’ve had. These choices, I would suggest, are best-served piping hot rather than after being kept warm in a serving dish.
Desserts beckon and here we are a little disappointed at the choice, with the exception of a large Um Ali and a plate of assorted Arabic pastries, the rest of the desserts are the usual typical buffet selection. We would have preferred to see some more authentic desserts to match the theme of the evening.
Shisha & Entertainment :
After the food is served, my guest selects Mint Lemon Shisha which I’m told was good and the staff were attentive and always on hand to make sure the coals were kept to the right temperature etc.
Entertainment was in the form of some belly dancing, and we were treated to two shows by entertainer, Layla. I know her name so well as the music mix she performed mentioned her name about every thirty seconds or so which was unusual, to say the least.
We stuck to soft drinks and juices, but alcoholic drinks are also served (extra cost) at reasonable prices. The hotel also has a wide range of different offers available (check out their site for details) including some great Happy Hour deals. We will be back to check these out some other time.
Billed as a Lebanese evening, I can’t help feeling a little disappointed that the hotel didn’t stick to the theme more wholeheartedly. Whilst I appreciate that there are quite a few Lebanese dishes on the menu, there are also a significant number of dishes that aren’t. Personally, I feel that you either commit to something wholeheartedly and don’t deviate by adding additional dishes to the menu etc or don’t call it a Lebanese evening. At 170/AED per head (there are some discounts at the moment) it’s a reasonable deal and there were quite a few small groups enjoying the Shisha and a casual dinner Maybe this is somewhere that is more enjoyed with Shisha and I missed out by not taking part in this side of the evening. The location is great for me, so I feel I will be popping into Nay again, although I will probably order from the A La Carte menu next time. (Typical price for salads, cold mezza are 20/AED per dish. Hot mezza circa 22/AED Mains circa 55/AED and dessert 20/AED. Shisha is 45/AED)
Disclaimer: This was a media invite. All photos and opinions are my own.
NAY Lebanese Restaurant, Somewhere Hotel, Barsha Heights Lebanese Nights every Friday from 7:00pm to 1:00am