Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Kempinski Hotel, Mall of the Emirates
Bookings: 04 409 5999

This brightly lit restaurant run by the Kempinski Hotel is located at one end of the cavernous Mall of the Emirates. Now I have a very strong aversion to eating in shopping malls but Sezzam just about manages to avoid the ‘Food Court’ feel and has created its own little world.

To be fair I don’t really know what to make of Sezzam and actually I am not really sure that Sezzam knows what to make of itself either. We eat at Sezzam as a family quite often because it is very child-friendly, you can be in and out without too much delay if you want to and the food is generally pretty good. Sezzam is not a place to linger over a long lunch or dinner, the chairs are much too uncomfortable for that, but for a pretty good, not too expensive, eating option with a very wide choice of dishes Sezzam fits the bill quite well.

Billed as ‘Flame, Bake and Steam’ it is a rather confusing mix of a little bit of everything, more flaming odd, half baked and steaming mad. The restaurant is large, the web site says it can seat 935 people, but I do find the layout of the restaurant interesting with the different cooking stations creating islands around which the tables are placed. The tables themselves would not be out of place in a school canteen, being very utilitarian and the chairs add nothing to the comfort of the diners. To be frank it looks all very basic, very cheap and not at all inviting.

One end of the restaurant looks over the indoor ski slope, in particular the beginners area, which can provide some cracking entertainment watching them falling about all over the place!

Having the cooking stations in and amongst the diners does create quite a feel of activity and every time I go to Sezzam I do get the impression of things happening, of hussle and bustle, and I quite like that in the way that it fits well with the sort of fast food atmosphere of the place.

Opening the menu is where things start to get very confusing, I mean seriously how can you figure out what is going on when the list of signature dishes include Peking duck, chicken tagine, chicken makhani and a cheese burger? On top of which there is a pasta station a sushi station and a pizza oven.

The restaurant is trying to be all things to all people and whilst I have to say that overall the food is pretty good I would be very interested to know what their most popular dishes actually are because I have the impression that the Asian dishes are the ones most ordered.

Sezzam has a buffet on Fridays and Saturdays but it is far too confusing to a simple chap like me to work out so I have never tried it. Some cooking areas are in the buffet, some are not, you can take some things and some you can’t. By the time the waitress had explained all the rules and regulations I gave up and ordered a la carte.

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