Last night I visited Saj Al Qarya. This was my first Food tasting session after coming back from holidays, and since I was already down with flu virus I was not expecting to be enjoying my favorite cuisine i-e Lebanese food on my last night trip to Souk Qaryat-al-Beri, but to my pleasant surprise, I certainly did. The food is very good here. It is cooked well, the seasoning and flavors are excellent, service is good.
Saj Al Qarya is a newly established and a well-kept secret in the Capital City for those having taste buds for authentic Lebanese food. It is undoubtedly one of the best Lebanese cafes in the area.
The name Saj refers to the famed razor-thin Middle Eastern flatbread, which is traditionally cooked on a convex grill. At Saj Al Qarya they griddle slightly thicker saj on a flat-top to support sandwiches that boast fillings like sujouk, Turkey & cheese etc apart from tradition Zaatar and labneh.
The owner couple is very dedicated, full of energy & are super friendly and are well-managed and confident despite being new in the food business. Saj Al Qarya cafe is set up in a quiet and calm environment and a Chic site. Décor and theme are precise & simple yet very elegant.
-Quinoa Salad: unique presentation in a Jar. From mixing of dressing till pouring in Jar each moment was instagrammable. Taste-wise it’s dainty except I just missed out on some nuts crunch in the dish.
-Zaatar -Turkey & Cheese
-Mohammara & Kashkawan
All the above 3 Saj were excellent with taste; they were good and crispy and full of taste at the same time. I love the Zaatar freshness.
Honestly, its hard to believe that I have made a very positive strong opinion already about taste and shared with my friends the same on social media about Saj Al Qarya, though I have visited this place for the first time as its newly opened. And let me say that I was surprised at how good the food especially the Saj was, innovative, fresh & made with full dedication and simple presentation.
Bread, meat and garlic sauce all were top-notch. It was served fresh along with pickle slices.
Saj Al Qarya is certainly a key stop in the Middle Eastern Café/bakery Diaspora, as this Lebanese café offers much more than delicious authentic Lebanese café style food bites, including what might be some of the best shawarma in Abu Dhabi.
-Kafta Loaded (Plain)
-Sujuk & Cheese (Spicy)
Sujuk has been my favorite amongst all, it was rightly spiced and is served with chips. Freshly prepared ingredients are overall strength of this Café’s menu.
Cost-wise it’s so apt to get your sandwich on a saj, and even with the VAT surcharge is well worth it, with flame-singed meat, pickled cucumbers, tomatoes, and garlic sauce joining the saj sandwich fray even for takeaway or home delivery via carriage. With each order, you’ll get a plate of pickled veggies, olives. Cucumber, crunchy chips, garlic sauce and punchy tomato slices
This was a great twist for non-Arabic food lovers if they go with their friends at this café, the recipe though still need some fix-ups, and can be furnished in a more presentable way.
Their base dough or rather a saj is blistered and pliable, a beautiful match for either Zaatar, chicken, turkey slice or beef of which it makes strong cases for the capital’s best. You should definitely try to approve our verdict. I would only prefer if they use reduced balsamic on Italian not to let the break be soaked due to runny version.
From the breakfast basket, we tasted Sobhiyet Qaryetna (Foul, Shankleesh, Eggs your way, Hummus). It was a huge platter with a variety of items including the miniature Saaj burner along with traditional-aged Lebanese dried cheese. Shakshouka and foul are so delicious and earthy in taste. All their Saj are available in BROWN & healthy option as well.
As weather encouraged we enjoyed trying three variety from their hot beverages section; Hot Chocolate, Karak & English Breakfast. All three were pretty good; my personal favorite was Karak with a rose-water taste cream cookie which is famous and brought from Lebanon & is traditionally consumed in abundance back in the country.
-Minted Lemonade –Oreo –Lotus well blended and rich in taste all three smoothies were liked by myself, hubby and kids.
-Lebanese Kenefeh was fresh and soft and slightly different from usual kunnafa served at many places. Ghazl el Banet is an originally a Turkish sweet which has been revisited the Lebanese way here. Although the texture is similar to cotton candy, both methods and ingredients are different though. I loved how they gave a subtle flavor by topping it with grated pistachio and placed it on top of Mastic Icecream to give a unique flavor.
Both the desserts were delicious not overly sweet but with great taste and texture. They also made in-house Nutella rolls in saj which is so liked by my kids.
So folks if you are on the hunt to discover a new Lebanese café serving food which is light on your stomach and tasty on your palette, do visit Saj Al Qarya and like the Lebanese food, you won’t regret your visit to this place!
Souk Qaryat Al Beri, Near Shangri La Hotel, Al Maqtaa, Abu Dhabi
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