Every culture has a distinctive cuisine providing a fair number of options for us foodies to indulge in and Middle Eastern cuisine is no exception. Middle Eastern food includes a tremendous variety of foods, but what makes these dishes so exceptional are the vibrant herbs and spices that merge to create complex dishes deep in flavour. Being born and bought up in Dubai, Arabic food in particular has become one of our favourite cuisines. We love to indulge in some classic delicacies time and again and can’t stand going wrong with these
When we were invited for a tasting at Operation falafel we really weren’t expecting it to be any different than just a restaurant serving casual Arabic Street food. We were amazed not only by how edgy and cosy the restaurant interiors were but the approach at how the restaurant aims at reintroducing traditional Arabic flavours with a 21st century modern take on delicious Arabic Street food.
We absolutely loved the new age funky wooden decor casually adorned with graffiti style fonts and posters. The primary source of lighting here was a display of bulbs in jars against a wall, which was so effortlessly stylish. The restaurant was bustling with crowd as Arabic music played in the background making the ambiance just right.
We started our meal with their fine selection of fresh juices and we opted for the watermelon juice. You can really tell the difference between these juices as opposed to those that are made with added sugar and preservatives. These were slightly more pulpy and tasted fairly natural.
For salads, we were highly recommended by the staff to try out the new four cheese salad and we couldn’t resist but order Quinoa tabbouleh which was quite a different twist to the original tabbouleh. We love how Operation falafel mixes and matches with traditional Arabic cuisines creating this healthy mixed Salad. It tasted fresh yet different because of the Qunioa. Was absolutely delicious! Although, it could be a little less sour.
I know something like a four cheese salad completely negates the purpose of a salad but the four cheese salad, one of the newest additions in the menu was extraordinary! This salad is a Mix of 4 extremely fresh cheeses namely String, Mozerella, Nabulsi and Bulgari along with some greens, Black Olives, Pumpkin Seed and Watermelon. Yes that’s a whole lot of ingredients but that’s what it takes to make a salad as amazing as this was. The salad was one of the best we have had in the longest time you guys! Highly highly recommend trying this salad out you guys, the ingredients just balance so well and give you the best burst of flavours.
For starters we went for the Fattet Hummus Bl Laban which is a twist on the traditional hummus dish. This is essentially a dip comprising of hummus, fried bread mix with tatbelah sauce topped with chickpeas, pine seeds and parsley. The dip was exceptionally flavoursome and tasted absolutely delicious with the hot pita bread straight out of the oven. But I dint quite enjoy the fried bread in the mix, I would’ve preferred dipping the hot bread right into the cold mix rather than having it already dipped in the mix. All in all, just not something we would go back to.
Next up had to be falafels while dining at Operation falafel! We went for the classic and stuffed falafels here. It would be safe to say that Operation falafel serves one of the most delicious, crisp and fresh falafels. These tiny melt-in-your-mouth falafel balls were soft on the inside with the perfect crunch on the outside. Definitely going back for these!
The stuffed falafels were bigger in size than the classic ones. These falafels have been stuffed with onions, pine nuts and a fairly spicy Arabic sauce called ‘shatta’. The falafels are topped with roasted white sesame seeds. These tasted great with the tahini dip they were served with. Its a great twist to your normal falafel, honestly prefer the classic over the stuffed ones.
Next up were the Grilled Halloumi which was served with a side of pickled vegetable and accompanied with hot pita bread. A well grilled Halloumi is heavenly! Halloumi is the only cheese that has an incredibly high melting point, which makes it perfect for grilling as it does not melt and comes out to be one of the most perfect warm, salty, chewy cheesy perfections. Absolutely loved the grilled Halloumi, it was grilled to perfection with a beautiful crispy brown texture on the outside and soft texture inside.
No meal is complete without the very famous arabic snack, Manakish. We decided to go for the Zataar & Cheese Manakish but we requested them to add sliced up black olives as we love the combination of these two ingredients. It tastes exceptional, try it out next time you order one! We had no complaints with this one, the dough was very fresh and was very light! We loved it.
By this time we were so full, we had no space for dessert. But like they say you always have room for dessert. We were highly recommended to try out the mini dessert jars by the staff which was fair enough to try out since they were minis. Sigh! Our desserts were the mini Cholclatecake jar and a mini lotus cheesecake in a jar. The chocolate cake jar was a flourless chocolate cake with a mouth-watering filling of warm nutella, Arabic coffee and Ganache oozing out right when we digged into it.. we were in chocolate heaven with this one! This ones just perfect for one person and undeniably the best.
Generally, both of us are suckers for anything lotus so we were super excited when we ordered for this one and we were not disappointed one bit! The creamy cheesecake paired with lotus and blueberry was absolutely delicious!! Although, we did find that quantity of the blueberry jam a little overbearing and the dessert would’ve been just perfect if they cut it down a bit.
All in all, the service was good and the staff was very attentive. Operation falafel is a great place to enjoy good, quality food with your friends at any time of the day or night since it opens doors to its customers 24/7. Which is just perfect to please those midnight cravings. What we loved the most about the joint is that it’s certainly not all about the Falafel, their menu comprises of traditional arabic food but with a twist!