by Maryam Al Shawab
  • 2 minute read
  • July 08, 2019
Three Emirati Sisters Join Forces For This New Dubai Restaurant

Nibbling on the Middle Eastern-inflected dishes at Asma is akin to being transported to childhood days filled with Arab food made from the heart. Asma’s menu is imbued with a sense of warmth and hominess by three Emirati sisters, who launched the restaurant at The Dubai Mall in January this year, drawing on the culinary passion of their mother, whom the space is named after.

“My mother is determined, motivated and very energetic. She is always looking for perfection in every aspect of her life,” reveals Nahla, one of the three sisters behind Asma (the names of the other two sisters remain unknown as the family keeps its presence low-key).

Step inside the restaurant and this quest for perfection is evident in its tastefully done interiors. Think about multi-layered panels and plush furnishing dressing the space, which is flecked with a neutral palette of pink and grey tones, with plants dotted around and its open plan exuding a courtyard feel.

“Walking through Asma allows you to discover different settings, from a fresh and light open terrace area to a more casual dining seating area next to the central bar counter, which has a pizza oven installed,” explains Nahla. “At the back, a singular area has been created where customers can experience a unique dining setting surrounded by greenery.”

Finely honed flavors sing through the food, which comprises a mélange of traditional Arabic recipes with a modern twist, taking you on a trip down Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Palestine and Syria, with dishes such as shakshuka and musakhan.

I pulled apart the pillowy bread and found myself relishing every bite, including hummus drizzled with parsley vinaigrette, and spiced potatoes that are at once comforting and delicious. As for Nahla, her favorite dish is the beef skewers, which definitely pack a punch.

What makes Asma special is the lip-smacking combination of Middle Eastern street food and classic dishes all tied up in a casual dining experience. “The key principle of our concept is traveling through the Middle Eastern region and selecting dishes that we love, and delivering them in a casual, sharing concept with a contemporary twist,” Nahla elaborates.

So, what is it like to run a family restaurant? Nahla notes that she likes to play to the strengths of each sister, and while working with family can be challenging, she tries to keep her personal and professional lives separate. So, as Nahla and her sisters run the show, we can all sit back and enjoy the delectable food at Asma, where you are sure to feel at home. @Asmarestaurant

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