So yesterday I tried this new restaurant serving Iraqi food called Samad Al Iraqi Restaurant. It is located on the Jumeirah Beach Road, right besides Chilis (if you know where it is, or you can just search as it isn’t so difficult!). When we entered and sat on our table, for a good 2-3 minutes we weren’t approached by the manager or the waiters so they could give us a menu. And that was a little bit ticking off about it. Then waiting for these few minutes the waiter finally came and handed us the menu. After a few seconds the waiter came back with some really good complimentary lentil soup for each one of us and also with green salad. It is because, as I read some facts in their menu, that it was a custom in Iraq to serve green vegetables before the actual food when guests came over. Hmmm, really impressed.
And then waiters would come with big baskets in their hands, and they would serve freshly made tandoor roti’s (hot flat breads made in pits where fire would be lit on coal). I would rate this as a plus point to their service to customers.
My stomach was half filled by having all this complimentary food and we had to carefully order the main course so we wouldn’t ending up saving food and taking it home. So we ordered two plates of Iraqi mixed grills (and each one was a single portion) and also 2 plates of Iraqi Kebab Yoghurt. Oh, and for the appetizers we ordered a mixed mezze (of appetizers). Although I am not a huge fan of Arabic appetizers but this one I found it really interesting. Loved the hommous as usual, and there was also this mixed vegetables section stirred in a sweet orange coloured sauce which was also quiet good, and for the first time ever I actually liked fatoush (green vegetables with dried pomegranate and other bunch of sour stuff). Didn’t try the purple vegetable (don’t know what’s it called) because it certainly wasn’t looking so mouth watering.
Finally our main course arrives! And I was really excited to get a taste of it as I was trying Iraqi for the time. The presentation of both the dishes were, I should say as being a food lover, very mouth watering with all that meat in front of me! So after all the dishes were on our table, I first grabbed for the Iraqi Kebab Yoghurt. And when I took the first bite, I lost all my apetite. Firstly, because it was sheep’s meat – and we never have it, it has always been either lamb or beef. And secondly, it was covered with A LOT of yoghurt. This ruined the taste of the kebab even more. So I forcefully finished it (thank God I took less than half of it) and went on to eating the boneless chicken and the entire chicken kebab. The chicken was okay too, not that great compared to the one we get at Al Hallab (this is a Lebanese restaurant). And for the first time I was actually thankful we did not order a lot (although a whole kebab was still left behind).
My ratings (out of 5):
Ambience – 4
Service – 2.5
Food – 3 (this is only because of the complimentary lentil soup and the mixed mezze platter)
Average – 3.2/5
Obviously I would not ignore the fact that there are other dishes that might have been better, as I looked up on foursquare people recommending the Meskouf Fish. So if you are looking to try something new, I will certainly recommend it. Although I wouldn’t recommend the Iraqi Kebab Yoghurt, but that also depends if you like sheep’s meat or not. And I would also recommend to read the summarized tales of food of the Iraqis inside the menu (there are many of them in it) – they are actually really interesting and you can catch up in some good knowledge while you’re still decided on your lunch/dinner!