Brilliant smells, hazy air and laughs carry over the chill winter evening: your average nightly scene at a restaurant in the Lebanese capital Beirut. In Lebanon smoking the big, beautiful, aromatic, fashionable narghile or hookah. All possible in this great city where we live in. The Lebanese dining culture is influencing Dubai in all the right ways.
How about some Crispy Calamari, Cheesy fries, or maybe just a nice Sandwich with your shisha? A delicious fruit Cocktail or Smoothie on the side compliments the overall experience.
The social tradition of passing on a water pipe – in Arabic known as Shisha or Narghile – goes back many centuries. It became an integral part of the culture in Turkey, the Middle East and some parts of Asia around the 6th century A.D. The Arabic name Narghile decent from the Persian word nārgil, or ‘coconut’. In the old times the narghile was made out of coconut shells. In some shisha cafes in Dubai you can still find pipes made out of fruit.
In present day Turkey and in the Arab World many will do their best to convince you that smoking a Narghile brings atmosphere to a meal. This fact by itself is difficult to deny, although it’s always wise to remember that smoking in excess has its health hazards. However, it does give a nice social touch to any outside lunch or dinner try original shisha flavors with Grape, Melon, or Strawberry and Bubblegum flavor. Yes, they are all available nowadays!
When smoking a narghile nothing beats some Italian style Crispy Calamari on the side. It is a celebratory treat, and also quite easy to make yourself. Great with a garlic mayonnaise, and even better with some Rocca and tartar sauce on the side. Difficult not to eat your fingers.
Another classic is Fries covered with melted Cheddar Cheese. Not to encourage the overall calories intake here, but it has to be said: nothing beats some crunchy and crispy Cheesy Fries. If you are up to it you can even add jalapeño slices, mozzarella cheese and chives. Also delicious with Mozzarella or Swiss Cheese, and a nice dressing on the side.
Of course a fresh made sandwich with some chips on the side is also a great match when smoking a shisha. Imagine you are sitting outdoors for lunch, smoking shisha and the waiter brings you and your friends a filled plate with Fresh Tuna, Turkey and Cheddar, and Grilled Vegetables and Parmesan sandwiches. Who can resist that?
To add some healthier options to the mix, try some refreshing fruit cocktails that would definitely give you a vitamin boost. A classic in this respect is the homemade Lemonade which consists of freshly squeezed lemon, with a twist of natural sugar. Have you ever try a so called Cinderella? Made out of Orange and Pineapple juice, Ginger, Lemon, and some Grenadine syrup. Another must try cocktail full of vitamins is the Moon Walk, which is made of Mint, Ginger, Mango, Banana and fresh Lemon juice. For the sweet lovers the an Avocado Special is worth a try. Besides Avocado a mix of Banana, Kashta, Honey and Nuts.
For the Smoothie lovers amongst us. Any smoothie with fresh Mango or Pineapple as a base fruit is always delicious. Also the combination of Orange, Strawberry and Banana is difficult to resist. Some good restaurants in Dubai even make sweet Super Smoothies which are made of a combination of Chocolate and frozen yogurt which could also serve as a nice desert. Yummy!