despite being suggested by a few malaysians staying in abu dhabi as THE place to eat mandi rice, this restaurant did not live up to all the positive recommendations.
i am so thankful for the many delicious mandi rice in the many lovely restaurants in dubai – al-tawasol, bait al-mandi, al-marhabani and malek al-mandi – they all serve fantastic mandi rice!
but this – this is a poor excuse of a nasi mandi!
with abah, umi, my eldest son khaleef, and youngest son kazim
situated in the vicinity of a ‘fishing’ area, it’s very close to the fish market near the corniche. susah nak cari for us, but when you know the way, the restaurant is very obvious.
you have to look for this 3 incomplete buildings near the fish market, drive right into, passing this one gate until you see the signage ‘fish market’. the restaurant signboard is bold red.
oh, why bother – i don’t recommend that you go here anyway!
the rice is dry, the chicken not as juicy, and the lamb is hard – like a day-old hard, or one that they simply re-heated for the next day.
however, abah and mr. khairul both agree that the fish was the one thing that was okay – fresh, and crispy. well – duuh – we’re practically neighbouring the FISH market!
the plate of veggies were fresh too, and the cili sambal is the spiciest i’ve ever tasted, which is not really such a bad thing.
and don’t get me started on the setting and ‘ambiance’. it has an old smell, smell of dried wet rug kept inside for too long. the inside is dimly lit – not in a good, romantic way, and the blue curtains separating the tables were like shower curtains!
in fact, the first moment we were ushered to the back to the ‘family area’, i was like, “ni macam nak makan dalam gua'” – because of it’s poor lighting, and the tight enclosed space. it’s close to be a claustrophobic’s nightmare!
see the ‘shower curtains’ behind mr. khairul? tacky, real tacky!
the staff at tawasol (our favorite mandi restaurant in dubai) are the best we’ve seen so far – maybe because we’re such a loyal customer, yes – but maybe because they ARE naturally nice and friendly. however, it’s nothing like here.
for the first time, we’re served by ladies at a mandi restaurant, and instead of getting a much ‘sweeter’, ‘lovelier’ treatment from female staff for a change, we get sour faces and less-friendly vibe!
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once a mandi-freak, always a mandi-freak. the mandi rice was frustratingly not as good as the ones in dubai, but still so sayang kalau tak habiskan!
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my boys, amongst the metal wire fish nets. there’s like hundreds of them like this all along the opposite side of the row of restaurants.
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if you feel that you still don’t know where this restaurant is even after reading my mean review, it’s on purpose. hihi.
i’m half-heartedly giving you directions, because i really do not recommended that you go there! seriously, if you’re visiting the UAE, you’re better off driving an hour and a half to dubai to get a much better plate of mandi rice!
and if you’re living in abu dhabi, please tell me that THIS is NOT the only place to get a so-called ‘good’ mandi rice! do you know any other place in abu dhabi?