we, mr. khairul and i, are self-confessed mandi addict.
mr. khairul in his travels to mid east countries, including a recent business visit to jordan - he still looks for the best mandi rice and would promptly relate to me his experience - the taste, the rice, the chicken, the ambiance - he knows i'm never tired of hearing about mandi rice in other countries!
our usual weekend mandi haunt is al-tawasol, but one weekend, we wanted to try mandi at a different place. read about our yummy visits to al-tawasol here.
bait al-mandi at muraqqabat road.
we've tried this mandi rice before at my friend fauziah's house during her son's birthday party. they told us the location and only now we're tryin out the place.
there's a parking lot just beside the building where the restaurant is, just like al-tawasol, so that's a plus point. upon reaching the restaurant, i can see tables outside which is probably a nice spot to eat mandi rice during winter. cool weather and hot juicy mandi chicken. yum!
however it's freaking hot right now so eating out is a no-no. upon entering the premise, i didn't feel the personalized welcome that i enjoy in al-tawasol. it has typical, boring tables and chairs as opposed to the very mid-east feel in al-tawasol with the carpet terbentang and ali baba pillows as seats.
i was starting to get disppointed when we were ushered upstairs. oh, there's a second floor! - it says 'family area'. most restaurants in dubai is big on family, and provide family area if possible. at al-tawasol, you have to go to the back of the restaurant for the family area. at bait al-mandi, you go up!
to my surprise, the stairs took us up to a much nicer ambiance. there were clearly rooms, well, more like cubicles since there were partitions instead of actual walls. there's wall to wall carpeting up here unlike downstairs.
the most catchy sight about the 'room' is the cowboy swing door! fascinating at first, but realized it's quite deadly! when a person pushes it open and lets go, it swings really really hard that somebody could be seriously hurt if they happened to stand close by! so when you bring your kids - watch out!
the 'rooms', like i said, has only partitions so it can get rather noisy with all the sounds coming from above. in this sense i really prefer al-tawasol's 'tents' which are all closed up, providing much more privacy.
the food arrived and yes, yummy as a plate of mandi rice should be! mr. khairul said the rice is a bit kering but to me ok aje! nontheless that is the only difference i noted in taste - the rice, it is slightly more dry than the rice in al-tawasol. other than that - chicken, lamb - equally delicious.
also, bait al-mandi gave out free yoghurt to go with the mandi rice, the chilli was served in super-generous portion but the cucumber is thin-sliced rather than sliced into half at al-tawasol.
all in all, the mandi rice at bait al-mandi is equally tasty but i still prefer al-tawasol as it scored brownie points for ambiance and comfort. but you can try it out for yourself - it's literally around the corner from al-tawasol, right along muraqqabat road. the signage is huge and bold red - you won't miss it.
selamat menjamu selera!