Nurai Café is a trendy restaurant by Dubai Water Canal. The outdoor seating gives you a view of the buildings of Business Bay and the famous Burj Khalifa.
You will notice immediately that it is a contemporary restaurant just looking at its interior. I felt like a queen bee because of the honeycomb patterned ceiling. The hexagonal light fixtures with green moss giant balls in between added a trendy but relaxing feel to the restaurant.
Walls look like it’s painted with orange trunks but it is actually orange lights illuminating from the inside of the wall. They have a mezzanine with gold leaf textured wall with NURAI on it. The tables are dark colored thick wood with brown or cream-colored leather seats which gives it an earthy feeling even with a very modern design.
As mentioned earlier I felt like a queen, not just because of the honeycomb ceiling but because of the high-quality food they serve. Here’s why…
Since it was hot, I want to start with a refreshing drink. I ordered Afropina which is a mix of cranberry, orange, pineapple juice, coconut and strawberry syrup. They don’t add sugar to their mocktails. It is still amazingly sweet without the sugar; the pineapple juice gave it a refreshing kick while the orange and the strawberry give the sweet rush. All these flavors are balanced out by the coconut juice.
For starters, we ordered hot and cold mezza.
Moutabal- roasted eggplant dip topped with crispy eggplant strips and pomegranate. The thin crispy eggplant strips garnish on top made my eyes wide. I am not a fan of eggplant but because of the added texture to the Moutabal I liked it.
Labneh and Garlic- if you think this is a simple labneh with mild garlic flavor, you are in for a surprise. They added herbs in their recipe that it tastes unique compared to labneh and garlic from other restaurants.
Spicy Potato with Coriander- This pan-fried potato with garlic pepper and fresh coriander is not oily at all. I was expecting it to be really oily and unhealthy but when it was served, oil was not as visible. It has just the right amount of spicy with a citrusy taste. Crunchy outside and mushy inside.
Toushka- I would call this an Arabic Quesadilla. Their homemade receipe is made of crispy butter bread, kaya mix, mozarella cheese, served with 2 kinds of yogurt sauce. Melts in your mouth.
Maklet Beid and Halloumi-Simple scrambled eggs with halloumi cheese served with salad and bread
Spicy Akkawi- melted akkawi cheese with chili tomato sauce topped with sesame seeds. It is like a thin crust margarita pizza plus sesame seeds on top.
We ordered a lot and I am so full after the starters but if starters were good, so as the main. Here are the recommendations from Nurai staff on what are the dishes that will not disappoint your tummy.
Halloumi Chicken Burger- New on the menu. Grilled chicken breast and halloumi with tomat, fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced pickled cucumber, pesto mayonnaise in a in the house baked bun served with a bed of fries on the side and coleslaw. Fries was amazingly crisp and long. Best fries I’ve ever had. It has the right amount of saltiness and crispiness, the potato skin added texture and flavor. As for the burger, the basil and pesto mayonnaise made this burger really special. Halloumi with the pickled cucumber made it a little bit salty. You can ask to have it customized to make it lesser salty, maybe a thinner halloumi or replace pickled cucumber with fresh ones.
Pesto Pasta- penne with creamy pesto pasta sauce topped with roasted pine nuts. This will be good for people who are unsure on what to order.
It would be sad to leave without ending it with a sweet touch, right?
Fettuccine Crepe- I was curious what how can they serve fettuccine as a dessert so I ordered this. When it arrived, it is a crepe sliced like a thinner fettuccine topped with vanilla ice cream, strawberries and kinderjoy. Then drizzled it with nutella and sprinkled with icing sugar. Reading the description, it seems really sweet. I t surely is. It is a unique way of eating a crepe though. The ice cream and strawberry mellow down the sweetness of the chocolate nuttella and kinderjoy. It will be best to have every bite with ice cream and strawberry.
After a heavy meal, we cannot walk at all. Since we don’t smoke we opted for tea instead.
Moroccan Tea- mixed herbs with mint. It is a bit bitter but it’s best to drink after a sumptuous and luxurious banquet, a hot tea is a must.
In a nutshell, NURAI is known for its shisha but with a contemporary cozy ambiance, amazing staff, big serving and magnificent food, they deserve a 5/5 rating.