YaBaladi, a restaurant serving authentic home-made Lebanese fare inspired by a traditional ‘mother’s kitchen’, has opened its doors at the Coral Boutique Hotel Apartments in Al Barsha, Dubai.
There’s a story behind the name YaBaladi and the concept of a ‘mother’s kitchen’ that needs to be told.
Starting with the name that is derived from a song, ‘HelwaYaBaladi’, which means ‘ Beautiful, is My Country’, a nostalgic, soul-wrenching Arabic paean to one’s homeland that was composed and first sung by the famous French-Egyptian singer Dalida. The evocative and soulful yearning for the country of one’s memories and childhood stories soon became a pan-Arabic favorite that has seen several newer renditions, including by Lebanese singers.
“We Lebanese identify with the spirit of the song and have internalized its emotion. YaBaladirepresents a journey back into the heart and soul of Lebanon and its cuisine. That’s where the ‘mother’s kitchen’ concept also comes in. For generations, mothers have been passing on their amazing recipes and intimate secrets of their cooking styles to their daughters and that’s what’s made Lebanese cuisine famous throughout the world. Each village, each family, each season and each day has its traditional variations and typical flavors and each succeeding generation has added its own innovations and refinements. I developed YaBaladi on the memories of my mother’s kitchen,” says General Manager SalimTouma.
“We wanted to be as authentic as possible so we created a decor that rekindles the original ambience of a traditional Lebanese cafe. We imported old antique chairs from a famous cafe in the home country and adorned the walls with paintings portraying the restaurant and cafe in the typical green and hilly Lebanese landscape,” he adds.
According to Salim, Lebanese cuisine can be considered a good example of the healthy ‘Mediterranean diet’ that is essentially a hybrid of Lebanese, Jordanian, Syrian, Palestinian, Ottoman and other fare from cultures that influenced the area through the centuries, the base ingredients including olive oil, garlic, onions, greens, vegetables, grains and a variety of seafood and meats. A typical Lebanese culinary experience would include the multifaceted Mezzah or appetizers that include Hummous and Baba Ghannouj, and salads like Tabbouli and Fattoush, main dishes with a choice of meats, poultry, fish, rice and lentils, grilled vegetables, desserts that include Baklawa, Kounafeh and, of course, Arabic coffee to settle the meal.”
YaBaladi restaurant is open every day from 7am until midnight. Free home delivery is available and those who wish to place an order can call 04 3146789 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Coral Boutique Hotel Apartments is a business-friendly deluxe hotel located in central Dubai in close proximity to major shopping and entertainment destinations with a business centre and a range of dining, health & fitness, and entertainment options.
For more information about the hotel visit: www.coral-boutiquehotel.com