I was really quite skeptical about having lunch at Al Dawaar at the Hyatt Regency Dubai in Deira, a long way from my usual stomping ground. The Hyatt Regency Dubai together with the restaurant have both been around for over 30 years. All my skepticism vanished when I walked into the restaurant!
Al Daawar is Dubai’s first and only (so far) revolving restaurant based on the 25th floor of the Hyatt Regency situated in the older part of Dubai. It has recently been completely refurbished and actually it reminded me of Windows on the World by Galvin in London’s Park Lane at the Hilton hotel. I liked the crisp white linen tablecloths, the silver ware and the delicate single roses in vases on the tables.
Fortunately for us diners, the Hyatt has been very clever with the way the it has arranged the windows in the restaurant firstly ensuring everyone gets a spectacular view but secondly ensuring they get a really clear view as the windows aren’t tinted at all, so well done for that! Currently you’ll see the Deira Islands development evolving alongside traditional dhows transporting goods up and down the Creek. But there is a still a vast amount of blue sea to take in while you eat. Do take your cameras!
The restaurant windows have a large curved type structure to them that really lend themselves to good viewing. Some of the tables are traditional rectangles but they also have some intimate, oval tables with banquette seating that is quite unusual to find in Dubai but is so apt for this kind of restaurant. I think these would be ideal for an evening meal to catch all the lights of the city especially if romance was in the air!
Al Dawaar seemed to have a mix of tourists, perhaps staying at the hotel, and business people who seemed to be regulars on the day we visited but every one was clearly enjoying their meals. We visited for lunch and I was impressed with the quality of the food. We started with succulent whole prawns and some sushi, a must for any buffet lunch in my book! Although I try (like so many people now) to avoid bread, I broke into a small piece that was on our table, crisp on the outside, soft and warm inside with a pat of fresh butter; it was hard to stop at just that one piece! I liked that it was a small loaf of bread, big enough for four people, prepared especially for the table rather than pre sliced or in roll form.
I always have a good look around what a buffet has to offer before I choose my main courses and I settled on Shrimp Biriyani with some sides and a good portion of a spinach pasta bake dish. Both were excellent. There is a wide variety of Indian, Arabic and Mediterranean main courses all of which were very well put together. I loved my shrimp biriyani, which had just the right amount of authentic spiciness. The shrimps were well cooked but not chewy as they can so easily become if overcooked.
Desserts didn’t disappoint either! It’s said that you eat with your eyes first and in fact I am sure one of their chocolate cakes was baked almost Instagram Ready! The crème burlee was just right in taste and portion size, but I didn’t have room for more!
So do a full circle literally while you’re eating your meal at Al Dawaar as the restaurant will revolve a full 360 degrees (very slowly!) by the time you’ve eaten and go back to a Dubai that once was but I think will be again like a phoenix that rises from the ashes.
Lunch is available at a very reasonable AED 185 without beverages while Dinner costs AED 235.
By Monica Kapila