Lebanon’s pan-Arabian and Bedouin-influenced cuisine is an ever-present reminder of the involved communities who have inhabited the fertile lands of the Middle East for centuries. A caravanserai of empires and civilisations has passed through Lebanon and Jordan, which seats at the heart of the Levant – a historical name for the Middle Eastern region that encompasses Jordan, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories.
Ancient recipes, ubiquitous spices, and common ingredients unite the palm-fringed, desert-cloaked areas of Lavant, where staples such as falafel, shawarma, kebab, flatbread, and hummus are as much a bedrock of society as the warm hospitality on which Lebanese pride themselves. Did you know that the saying ”The way to the heart is through the stomach” is Arabian proverb? Lavant’s food culture is the reason for the origin of this saying because the mealtimes in Lebanon and Jordan are an open invitation to family and friends. Levantine food culture is all about connecting to the people. The Mediterranean-style salads, mixed grills, and mezze are typical of Lebanese cuisine, infused with spices, zesty sumac and herby za’atar, and laced with Arabian dates, pine nuts, pistachios, chickpeas, bulgar wheat, and tahini (a creamy sesame-seed paste.). You will rarely find a Levantine meal that doesn’t end with syrupy pastry or cake or pudding – a legacy of four centuries of Ottoman rule is sweet tooth indeed.
You must be wondering if you have to travel to Lebanon or Jordan to experience the Food Culture of Levants. Good news is that you don’t have to visit Lebanon or Jordan to taste Levatine delicacies; Zaytinya serves the authentic and supreme quality Lebanese and Middle Eastern food right at Al Seef Village Mall, Abu Dhabi. They have a branch at Al Ain too. Kashmiri style interiors inspired by classic Arabic design and splashes of vibrant colour add warmth and comfort to a dining experience at Zaytinya. Separate shisha area and daily buffet arrangements are noteworthy. With a legacy of more than 11 years, Zaytinya serves the delicious and traditional Arabic food in a modern setting; tradition meets sophistication at Zaytinya. Zaytinya, the Turkish word meaning ‘Olive oil’, represents the Lavatine cuisine by entitling their setup with Olive oil. Olive oil has always been an integral part of western and Levant cuisine; therefore, there is no name more impressive and appropriate than ‘Zaytinya’ for this restaurant.
This award-winning Lebanese restaurant reflects the vibrant culinary landscapes of the Middle East. From breakfast to Dinner, from cold mezze to desserts, and from seafood to meat, Zaytinya gets you covered with a broader range of delicacies that suits the palate. Use of fresh herbs in Salads, supreme quality lentils and spices in soups, imported dairy products in shakes, and in-house baked flatbreads set this restaurant class-apart.
A team of chefs sources the freshest ingredients from various regions of the Middle East and organic produce from the local market along with herbs and spices from around the world.
The prices of dishes are affordable, and they serve the Buffet daily from 1:30 PM to 6:30 PM at AED 60, and if you opt for shisha, you get the complete package at AED 80. Fair enough! You may check more about Zaytinya through their website.
Visit Zaytinya to experience traditional Levantine cuisine with flair and sophistication, to experience the famed hospitality, and to pay tribute to the Bedouin tribes that roamed the Levantine desserts and influenced the food culture of Middle East. Zaytinya can be your inspiration to explore the varying facets of Arabic food and lores of Levantine food culture.
Average Cost: AED 190 for two people (approx.)
Location: 1st Floor, Al Seef Village Mall, Khalifa Park Area, Abu Dhabi
Follow us on Instagram: