Mahec is located in the Le Meridian village. I was lucky to visit them for the launch of their new Ramadan Menu. The restaurant is quite a walk from the Le Meridian Main Lobby and took us asking atleast 3-4 people from the hotel staff on our way to finally make it to the restaurant. The walk out was much easier as the village has its own parking and taxi stand on this end.
As we entered we were greeted warmly the door and served some Arabic coffee or kahwah. We proceeded inside to the seating area which had high and low tables and chairs, couches and a small area outside where the buffet had been set up. The tables were ready, dishes presented beautifully and the atmosphere set for a spectacular meal. They have a cozy seating atmosphere and make for a great family dining area. The area inside is a bit dimly lit and also houses the bar. You can opt to sit outside and try some of their seeshas.
Get Set Gobble:
~ Soups and salad – Green peas and broccoli soup was a beautiful melange of fresh peas and broccoli, garnished with cream. One of the best salads they had was the Pathar gosht ki chaat. As the name suggests, lamb that was marinated in spices is cooked on hot stone slabs. The meat was tender and well spiced. MUST HAVE.
Another dish that caught my attention was the Egg taka tak chaat. This beautifully yummy egg has the goodness of boiled eggs on the side along with little chunks in the salad as well. Made with some tamarind and date chutney along with mayonnaise, cumin and coriander is what gives this dish its unique taste. Loved it! This dish shows the care and the brilliance of the chefs and loved their take on the basic egg salad. MUST HAVE. These dishes got me talking to the chefs responsible for the menu and you could feel the passion for food in every word they spoke!
There were other munchies like Aloo anar chaat which was a bhel puri with crunchy papdi topped with masala aloo, pomegranates and sev. Other accompaniments for the dinner included Masala onion, Pickle, Mint chutney, Tadka raita, Papad. Also there was a Tomato dressing and Tadka beetroot dressing for the other salads like fattoush, seasonal lettuce salad and kuchumber salad.
~ Starters – I think my favourite here had to be the Makhmali machhi which was fish marinated in a yoghurt and cream coating. The name literally described the dish where the fish just melted like butter. Loved it! MUST HAVE. I also overheard some people around me that were looking for ‘non spicy’ dishes and obliviously your go-to dish would be this fish.
Malai broccoli was a healthy starter of broccoli marinated with cream, mace and cardamom powder and then cooked in a clay oven. Each flower of broccoli looked vibrant and fresh. Masala paneer tikka had big slices of cottage cheese marinated in cashewnut, yoghurt, ginger, garlic and green chillies and then cooked in a clay oven.There was also an assortment of bhajiyas, mixed vegetables coated in besan and fried to crispy perfection.
The other items that I liked was the Red chicken tikka and Tawa boti. Overall all the starters had a good balance of spice and the meat was cooked thoroughly with a well balanced marinade. But yes, Indian preparations do contain a lot of spice (though I would rate the whole menu as low to medium spiced) so be prepared to enjoy them as a part of the meal as well 🙂
~ Mains – Vegetarian mains consisted of Jeera Aloo which are baby potatoes cooked with onions, garlic, ginger, green chillies, turmeric and cumin seeds masala. The Dal makhani is prepared when whole black lentil and rajma are simmered overnight with traditional spices and then flavoured with butter and fresh cream. This is a favourite main course item across northern India and no meal is complete without this rich preparation. This was perfect in consistency but I found it to be a bit on the sweeter side and prefer my dal to be slightly spicy (or chatpata). There was also Veg Nizami nihari and Tamatari subzi.
Non vegetarian mains had Dum ka murg which had boneless chicken pieces cooked in a gravy with freshly ground spices. The Zaika gosht was a house specialty and it truly stole the show. This dish was my absolutely favourite main course with boneless diced lamb cooked in rich spiced onion, garlic and tomato gravy. Even after I was full from my meal I sat there endlessly dipping my papad simply into the thick gravy and mopping every bit on my plate 😛 MUST HAVE.
For mopping up the scrumptious gravies we also had assorted breads consisting of fresh oven baked naan. The breads were being served hot from the kitchen on the table itself but it is a bit of a wait for it to turn up. Jeera pulao was fresh basmati rice flavoured with cumin seeds.
~ Desserts– Moong Dal Halwa needs to explanation. It was sweet and rich and topped with nuts..heaven! MUST HAVE. Gulab Jamun are basically deep fried milk dumplings served warm in an aromatic sugar syrup. It is quite difficult to explain this and much easier to eat 😛 I love eating them warm and the addition of chopped nuts on top certainely helped the flavours along.
Mixed fruit salad had a wide variety of cut seasonal fresh fruits. But who were to look towards this when you had more decadent desserts on the menu. My eyes were drawn towards the Bombay pudding that had to be my absolute favourite dessert. I had two bowlfuls of this by myself 😛 It consists of walnut brownie and gulab jamun layered with cardamom flavoured milk custard. MUST HAVE
The buffet is priced at AED 139 and offers a good variety in a high end setting. The service is with a smile but a bit on the slower side. Overall its a lovely experience and would make for a great option for all the folks looking for a good iftar buffet to indulge in this Ramadan.