We left Dubai and stepped into Damascus for a few hours when we checked out Al Koufa Restaurant in Al Nasr Leisure Land last week. The Arabic vibe reminded us of Qasr Al Nergis in the Old City of Damascus (For those who have been). Al Koufa is a vast, smokey venue with greenery and lights hanging from the ceiling, and a stage for entertainment. On a regular night they have live music and debka dancing, but each night of Ramadan they offered a show featuring singers, dancers, and games. We arrived at about 1:00 am, just as things were getting started.
The entertainment included Syrian singers, a whirling dancer (Watch the short video clips!), and various game-show inspired contests. The Syrian MC and some other hosts pulled raffle tickets for prizes (cash, game systems, spa packages, etc.), and played “Deal or No Deal” and “Who Wants to be a Millionaire,” with audience members for prizes up to AED 10,000 …Unfortunately we didn’t win anything this time.
The menu (linked!) features Emirati, Lebanese, and international dishes. We were not very hungry having come from dinner, so we ordered mint sheesha and some light Emirati fare: Maleh, a salted fish that comes with onion and tabbouleh, and Khameer with cheese, which, according to the menu is a local bread made with dates, served with a yellow cheese and honey for dipping. Yum! The Maleh was salty and sour, and the Khameer with honey was cheesy and sweet– two delightful combinations. We were very happy with the food, and can’t wait to try some more Emirati dishes. Please let us know if you have a local restaurant recommendation!
For dessert we got a Freezeto. One of the things I love most about the UAE is the abundance of fresh fruit and juices. This concoction was made of banana and apple pieces in fresh strawberry juice topped with ice cream and whipped cream. Satisfyingly fruity.
The bill came to AED 140, which is not a bad deal when you consider the hours of entertainment. We should note that this restaurant requires a minimum purchase. If you don’t want food, they offer fruit plates for any number of people, and ask that you order one for your table.
Food (5/5) ***** What we tried was very good!
Decor (4/5) **** The decor made us feel at home! Minus one star for smokiness.
Customer Service (3/5) *** It was difficult to get the attention of the servers, and the food took forever.