January 13, 2017 / Leave a Comment
I’ve lived in Dubai for almost two years now, and in all honesty I can’t say I’ve delved too far into the world of Emirati cuisine. Being unfamiliar with the names and ingredients meant it was a choice I usually avoided, but this year I’m on a mission to learn more about the local cuisine of my adopted home.
Given it’s modern take on Emirati and Khaleeji flavours, I figured Logma in Box Park was a great place to start. I’m the only non-local person in there, and that speaks volumes for the quality and authenticity of the cuisine.
The menu is extensive, and we road-tested a large chunk of it! Obviously being located in Box Park it’s not a licensed venue, but the mocktails we started with were pretty darn tasty – my favourite being The Atlantis (lychee, passionfruit, fresh mint and lime), just beating out the Palm Island (pomegranate based) and the Passion of Arabia (passionfruit) based), both also delish and very refreshing.
Logma means ‘bites’ in Arabic, and that’s where we started our journey into the world of Emirati and Khaleeji flavours – with small bites and appetisers.
What we tasted…
SAMBOOSA CHEESE //AED 32
SAMBOOSA BEEF // 34
LOGMA FRIES // 28
This section of the menu was my favourite, possibly because it housed my most loved dish of our meal – the Samboosa Cheese. A pillowy, creamy cheese interior, the perfect amount of spice from the dusting of Chips Oman and insanely good pastry made for morsels we just couldn’t help finishing off, despite knowing how much food we had to taste ahead! The beef version was also delish, topped with pomegranate molasses and crispy herbs. Loved the crispy herbs used on dishes at Logma – they also feature on their now-famous-in-Dubai Logma Fries. Definitely a dish you have to try for their interesting addition of Khaleeji spices. The lentil soup will certainly ago a long way towards curing anything that ails you. Served with chunky croutons and lemon, it was a lovely take, even if I personally prefer my lentil soup slightly smoother in texture.
We also tried the Khaleeji Wings, a gorgeous plate of fried goodness. The flavours were great, but my only gripe is that the Logma sauce is poured on them prior to serving made them soggy instead of crispy. A simple change to serving the sauce on the side instead of pre-dressed would easily solve this issue. I’d also like to see a aioli or garlic sauce type version of the Logma sauce to go with these as a creamier alternative.
POMEGRANATE MOZZARELLA SALAD// 49
Logma’s salads are big and arrive speedily to the table – perfect if you want a large lunch serve for one, or they can easily be shared as a side between 2-4 people. We tried the Pomegranate Mozzarella Salad and the Quinoa Salad, the latter being a very popular choice among diners around us. I preferred the pomegranate mozzarella over the quinoa – both were fresh and tasty but I did find both a tad on the sour side, so maybe ask for the dressing on the side so you can mix to your tastes. The quinoa salad has an interesting mix of dates and pistachios, but I couldn’t find the caramelised onions listed on the menu in the salad (I loooove caramelised onions!). Definitely fab healthy options.
Logma’s sandwiches are served in their delicious Khameer bread, which we enjoyed separately served warm with cream cheese and date syrup also, what is apparently a very traditional combo. The bread gets it’s sweetness from date paste in the dough, and it’s really lovely – I would have just preferred it to come out at the very start of the meal as opposed to later. I swear the cream cheese dip is the scrummy Kraft cream cheese spread I spent my childhood addicted to, thanks to my Grandparents’ love for it. Got no problem with that – I love the stuff. I’m wondering if it’s a bit like the use of Nutella everywhere here – just the done thing? If you can enlighten me on the cream cheese thing, do let me know in the comments below! You’ve definitely got to try the Khameer bread – the only hard part is not filling yourself up entirely on it when there’s so much else to try on the menu.
The Logma Burger is a cross between a pita style sandwich and a burger – it’s got your traditional patty and burger ingredients, just with the meat seasoned in a more Arabic style. The Shawarma Sandwich is perfect for those who want to play it safe – I’d say it was more seasoned baked chicken breast than shawarma though, and I really missed the juicy and crispy element of a hot-off-the-spit shawarma. It didn’t really meet my expectations of something called a shawarma, but I loved the pickles and garlic mayo inside the sandwich.
The sandwiches and salads are great for those who like lunching and cafe style food (I’ll admit, I’m not a big cafe diner), but for those of you who, like me, are more of an evening diner/restaurant fan, head for the rice dishes. They’re also the way to go if you’re wanting to experience more local flavours. (There are also lots of traditional dishes to try if you like heading out for breakfast.)
The Machbous Lamb came highly recommended, and I can see why. It represents exactly what I think of when I think of Arabic rice dishes – aromatic and complex in favour. The lamb was incredibly tender, and the raita served alongside rounded things off nicely. I would have liked more vegetables in the mix, but hubs was happy with the high meat ratio. It’s a big serve so order to share!
If you’re got room for dessert after all the savoury selections, you’re in luck. I love all things date, so the date pudding was a hit with me, served with ice cream and toffee sauce. Seriously indulgent. Great flavours, but I think it could be presented in a more modern way, perhaps as an individual pudding rather than a slice.
The lugaimat are another must order, traditional dish – kind of like tiny doughnuts. Drizzled in date syrup, pair these with some Saudi, Emirati or Turkish coffee for the perfect way to finish off your Arabic dining journey. They also can be served with Nutella and nuts for those who are addicted to the spread.
A clear favourite for local Emirati, Logma is the place to visit to learn more about Emirati and Khaleeji flavours in a contemporary environment. Definitely glad I tried it and found some new faves (especially those amazing Samboosa Cheese!). It’s a great spot to take visitors to give them a taste of real Dubai cuisine without breaking the bank.