As Abu Dhabi’s first exclusively Emirati restaurant, Mezlai brings with its food a passion for the culinary heritage of the Emirates as well as a commitment that spans a wide breadth of Emirati cuisine.

Embracing Emirati tradition

Mezlai, an Arabic word for the tradition door lock, stands symbolic of everything the restaurant seeks to convey – a passion to showcase Emirati culture and cuisine. It’s hardly surprising then, that every wall, nook and cranny conveys the nation’s heritage in full glory. Situated within the majestic Emirates Palace, this restaurant is helmed by chef Ali Salem Musbeh Al Badawi whose reputation hails from his stint at the prestigious Burj Al Arab and the Jumeirah Emirates Towers.

Flavors from sea and land

Emirati cuisine is hardly shy when it comes to proteins. Mezlai prides itself on its versatile menu that boasts not just the predictable meats, game and fresh seafood but also the unusual like ostrich, camel and baby shark. So you can order the Bedouin-inspired Lamb Shoulder Medfoun as well as the luxurious Shark Velute with Garlic, Saffron and Cream. The main courses are served alongside a choice of artisanal breads or rice.

The interiors at the Mezlai are commendable and reminiscent of a private museum. If the weather permits, you might like to dine on the outdoors terrace facing the Gulf of Arabia. The experience is simply sublime.