Oliver Ephgrave

Nov 16th 2020

We’re shining a light on a hero dish at DXB’s very own Emirati restaurant, S34 Gahwa Mezza Bar.

Inspired by the gahwas (coffeehouses) dotted around the alleys of Dubai’s historic Al Fahidi neighbourhood, S34 is the go-to place for sampling Emirati cuisine when you pass through DXB.

This time, we’re biting into the succulent and satisfying Arabic classic: Ras el hanout lamb shoulder.

S34’s Chef Nizamudeen Thameembasha explains some of the secrets behind the dish. “We use high quality Australian lamb, slow cooked for 24 hours at just 70 degrees C to keep the meat soft and juicy.”

First of all, the meat is marinated in a heady blend of spices – inspired by the North African blend Ras el hanout – featuring coriander, turmeric, cayenne pepper, sweet paprika, cumin, sea salt, sugar, cinnamon, allspice, cardamom powder, black pepper and fennel seeds.

Despite the plethora of spices, it’s relatively mild when it comes to chili heat. “It’s not too spicy – this is the local influence,” adds Chef Nizamudeen.

It all sits on a bed of green lentils, pomegranates and saffron-infused basmati rice.

The result is an taste bud-tingling combination of soft meat, exotic spices, sweet and sour notes and a crispy flourish of fried onions. It’s a treat that has to be shared with the entire family.

S34 is located in Terminal 3 near Gate C30