Lebanese seafood is the big draw, and the centerpiece of the space is the aforementioned gallery of fresh catch of the day. Everything from giant crabs and oysters to sea bream, squid and sardines are perched for you to pick from with the staff happy to assist with any pescatarian queries.
THE IMPRESSIVE DISPLAY OF FRESH FISH
Floor-to-ceiling windows let in the light creating a bright and breezy atmosphere in the blue and white hued room – apt given the menu’s fruit de mer focus. Mosaic tiles, latticework and subtle fish motifs join statement lighting in creating a very modern, inviting ambiance. Hand sanitisers are subtly dispensed around the room, with temperature checks at the entrance, social distancing between tables and everyone properly masked. The comfy outdoor seating is not only best for those seeking al fresco Covid-era experiences, but offers up ring-side views of The Pointe fountains and Atlantis The Palm right opposite.
Service is prompt, informative – but never overbearing – a fine line to walk. The complimentary piping hot pita, straight out of the oven, is immediately brought along with delicious zaatar, moreish chargrilled olives, pickles and a beautifully presented crudité platter complete with creamy truffle labneh dip. Portions are generous and this is one of those places where you’ll want to maximize the family seating as you’ll want to try most of the menu. Our favourite from the first wave of cold starters was a smoky, subtly spiced muhammara, hummus Beiruti with fava beans as well as their homemade herbed shanklish cheese and tomato salad. Instagrammers will love the theatrics of the table-smoked Scottish salmon tartare. When it comes to hot starters, the lobster kibbeh and garlicky Provencal prawns were highlights but the breaded lady fish, served atop a spiced tomato sauce, was the big winner.
CONTRARY TO ADVICE, WE DID NOT PACE OURSELVES. HOW COULD WE WITH A SPREAD THIS DELICIOUS?
The advice they give newbies when it comes to Lebanese food still applies: you need to pace yourself as there are so many dishes to come. When the substantial mains arrived we realised we hadn’t followed that sage counsel, but they were so delicious we somehow valiantly battled on.
Fish Sayadieh came full of seafood, the rice topped with a sprinkle of crisp onions to provide textural flourish while the plump shrimps and butterfly grilled seabass were perfectly cooked, accompanied by a variety of their house sauces. Don’t miss the crisp Phoenician fries sprinkled with herbs too.
A pastilla for dessert was another photographic opportunity; a tower of orange cream-filled flaky pastry was cracked and rich chocolate poured on. Perfectly timed for when the impressive fountains sprang to life just in front.