I am a self confessed foodie with very little willpower when it comes to edible stuff. Working for an organic food company means I am adapting my food choices and have entered a whole new exciting world of superfoods, organic veggies and gluten free products and I now know what things like goji berries, maca powder and spirulina are.
That doesn't mean I am now on some constant health kick; actually being introduced to a whole new world of healthy products has been fantastic because 90% of my week is filled with freshness so when I have those weekend feast moments, there is less guilt than before. Last night was definitely one of those said weekend feast moments as we headed into the depths of Bur Dubai, Oud Metha to be precise, to find something more traditional to salivate over.
Keif in Oud Metha is not the most glamorous restaurant in the city, but as I say, you should never judge a book by it's cover and the food that we consumed, will extinguish any issues with appearance after just one bite. Offering traditional Middle Eastern dishes, the menu is a huge offering that took a us a good 5 minutes to get to grips with.
Keif has a super relaxed environment, comfy and cosy booth areas and tables to seat huge groups of friends. Men sat in small groups, smoking shisha and playing card games or watching football on the million different tv screens in that place. But don't let that put you off, since the volume was turned right down, we didnt even notice. Keif is the sort of place you wear your shorts and sandals not stilettos and that's just my cup of tea.
Back to the food. We ordered several appetizers and mains and the food just comes when it comes which I love, since you can just pick and mix a bit like tapas or a meze. We had Hummus, Fatoush, Tabouleh and Falafel, traditional Middle Eastern flatbread, Chicken Shawerma and Mix Grill Platters, all washed down with the most amazing, fresh lime and mint juice I have ever set my eyes on.
The quality of food is phenomenal; the hummus is probably one of my favourite things ever and I could have eaten that from the pot with a spoon, no bread required. The falafel had tonnes of flavour, was perfectly cooked and the sesame seeds on top add an extra crunch and nuttiness. The Fatoush and Tabouleh were so fresh and packed with great flavour which perfectly accompanied the meat overload that was about to come. The Chicken Shawerma came with fries and flatbread and a delicious garlic yoghurt dip and traditional pickles and the Mix Grill Platter with beef, chicken and koufta, piled on top of flatbread and fries was a delicious mix of perfectly cooked meat.
I think one thing I like most about the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cultures are the food; the small plates of delicious offerings, designed to share. Although sometimes when food is that delicious, it's difficult to share, but it's clear, food and friends and eating are firmly part of the culture.
If your in the mood for a traditional Middle Eastern food experience and aren't shy about leaving behind the glitz and glamour of Dubai, Keif, next to the Jordanian Social Club, is definitely a must visit. Especially since the bill for four people barely hit 350 dirhams, just £55.