When it comes to casual Levantine eats in the UAE, there are a number of no-frills brands that dominate. Allo Beirut is here to unseat them – and it’s doing a swell job so far.
If you’ve driven down Hessa Street, you can’t fail to have spotted its shouty, colourful signage, beckoning a detour from your route. And there’s now a larger branch at City Walk.
Inside, it’s industrial-meets-homely, exposed ceilings and open kitchens juxtaposed against trinket-adorned walls. At one end, watch a team of bakers toast fresh saj on a dome and sling manakish into a brick oven. At the other, chefs form falafel rings at speed and shave hot, sliced meats from two towering sharwarma skewers.
Unlike many comparative, pitstop-style Lebanese eateries, Allo Beirut serves up the full gamut, from breakfast fatteh and hot wraps to full-blown grills, served with chunky curved fries.
And it’s all good value, starting from Dhs8 for manakish and Dhs10 for a shawarma, through to Dhs50 for a full rotisserie chicken with fries and pickles. Stretchy, freshly made wholemeal saj, served free with your meal, is another brilliant, generous touch.
Dubai isn’t short of superb, affordable Lebanese diners that are the envy of many global cities. Allo Beirut is brilliant addition to the scene.