Bait Maryam brings the warm and welcoming spirit of Levantine home cooking to Dubai. Owner and chef Salma Dakkak draws upon the homemade recipes and generous spirit of her mother, who the restaurant was named after (‘bait’ means home, Maryam is the name of Dakkak’s mother).
You can find this gem nestled in a top location in Jumeirah Lake Towers, one of Dubai’s newer neighbourhoods. Bait Maryam is humble, homely and unassuming, a far cry from the extravagance and opulence of other Dubai dining hotspots. The rustic interior is designed to feel like a home away from home; the space is cosy with light wood furniture, shelves lined with cookbooks and ornaments, and a vintage sewing machine taking pride of place in the front window. Every detail, from menu covers to floral furniture details, is designed to feel like home.
The menu is a true melting pot of Middle Eastern comfort food, something comforting for locals and Middle Eastern tourists, as well as a heart introduction to Arabic cuisine for others. Authenticity is key here; all food is cooked from scratch and ingredients are locally sourced- meat from the local butchers and all other ingredients from local markets or suppliers within UAE. Menu items span a range of countries including Dakkak’s native Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine.
Internationally popular dishes such as shakshuka, hummus, meze and falafel feature on the menu, as well as less common dishes like deep-fried crispy cauliflower with tahini and crispy fried onions, and the signature Maryam kebab stuffed with cheese and pistachio. The immensely popular Mansaf, the national dish of Jordan (braised lamb cooked in a yoghurt sauce), is served for lunch every Friday- it often sells out, so be sure to reserve in advance!
Dessert is a must. Choose from an array of traditional Middle Eastern options, including a range of kunafas, umm ali and mahalabia, or do as the name suggests and pick the globally popular lazy cake.