Billing itself ‘modern Middle-Eastern Cusine,’ per the website, ‘Phoenicia was the name given to an ancient Mediterranean civilization that originated in Lebanon. In 2500 B.C. and beyond, the Phoenicians were famous tradesmen who introduced the cultivation of olive oil and widely sold saffron figs and salted fish, amongst many other luxuries. In a modern tribute to our Phoenician ancestors, we introduce authentic neighborhood eateries, one in JA Oasis Beach Tower and the other in JA Beach Hotel, that celebrate the enduring popularity and history of Middle Eastern cuisine.’
At this time, they do not feel necessary. Guests should be able to stroll in casually for lunch for dinner at their leisure. Should you want to call ahead: 04 315 4200, or visit the website for more details: https://www.phoeniciadubai.com/
It’s the Marina, so be warned. We use the valet service, but finding anyone who works the valet stand when we depart becomes a bit of a challenge. Given the nearly constant traffic on the Walk, we would recommend having someone drop you off (or walking, if you live close by).
Greeting and Seating
We accidentally enter through the JA Resort Hotel, located in the JA Oasis Beach Tower, but Phoenicia is actually situated on the first floor of the attached shopping mall. Fortunately, it’s well signed, and we’re seated straight away.
We’re looked after quite attentively throughout the meal, and suggestions are welcome. As one of our party is a vegan diner, the restaurant is happy to accommodate her request and works with her to ensure her dietary needs are met.
The menu is broken down into a few categories, so all diners should be able to find something they are looking for. Mezza and salads, dishes from the charcoal grill, and for those with a sweet tooth, desserts. After reviewing, we pick and choose a bit of everything. To start, we order Silky Hummus Bi Tahini, AED45 and Phoenicia Hummus, AED35. The inclusion of sauteed beef fillet and pine nuts in the Tahini version makes the hummus feel more substantial, and the vegetarian-friendly Phoenicia Hummus is also one to order again. For other starters, we also order the Roasted Gulf Prawns, which are presented nicely but come across a bit too fishy for our liking. We finish our starters with an order of Hazelnut Falafel, AED35. Although we’ve had falafel any number of different ways, the inclusion of crumbled feta and shredded pickled turnips are welcome additions, adding both a bit of fat and sourness to the dish.
Although we eye the charcoal grill and all the delicious proteins available from it, for today’s visit, we focus on the main dishes instead. We decide on the Ouzi, the 8-hour slow-cooked lamb shoulder, AED100. As the tender meat all but falls off the bone, the technique of slow cooking is greatly appreciated. For our vegetarian friend, we order the Seven vegetable tagine royale, AED75. The helpful servers also decide we need to try the Musakhan, AED80. As the plates arrive, we have to admit that the presentation of this traditional dish is unique, and it is the souj wrapped Musakhan that everyone is most interested in.
For dessert, we are (mostly) full, but decide to split the Baklava Ice Cream, which is essentially an elevated ice cream sandwich. We love the (not too sweet) honey ice cream and the crispy almond filo. While we don’t think the William Pears are entirely necessary, the dish is well balanced.
The servers are kind to ask us about the timing of the courses and quick to clear things away. Our drinks are topped up without asking.
Quite honestly, the interior is not our favorite fit out in Dubai. The lighting is a bit too bright, and the details look a bit dated (even though the restaurant recently opened). Given the cuisine and overall ‘coastal’ vibe the color tone gives off, we’d love to dine al fresco and feel that if guests have the opportunity, that the sister property, located at JA Beach Hotel in Jebel Ali, is probably the right location to enjoy this food.
Prices feel in line with the area. Portions are easily split between two people.
Overall, would you return?
There is always plenty to explore in the Marina, but we would love to see what the restaurant looks like at the JA Beach Hotel in Jebel Ali. We have a feeling that outdoor space and resort vibes would add another level of enjoyment to this concept.
For us, it’s the humble hummus which is the winner! The Phoenicia hummus, with it’s sauteed pumpkin, almonds, and sweet spices that we would most happily order again. Of course, there’s always that ice cream sandwich…
Disclaimer: MenuPages.ae was a guest of this establishment.