A new Iraqi experience comes to Abu Dhabi - Layali Baghdad, Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi
The restaurant is simple and minimalist, with homely tables and chairs used to convey a sense of exactly that - home. We start off with lentil soup, prepared Iraqi style. The main difference, as I taste it, is the thicker texture it has compared to what one usually has. Very hearty.
We try some cold starters with piping hot tandoori bread - they have a tandoor in the kitchen. I appreciate the fact that bread is routinely replaced with freshly baked bread. The highlight of the salads and highly recommended is the signature Layali Baghdad salad - a mixture of eggplant, walnuts, tomato and pomegranate. Make sure you also try Jajeek, a fresh yogurt salad of cucumber, yogurt and garlic.
Finally, on the night I am here, there is a mix of clientele but probably evenly spread I am told between Iraqis, locals and Middle Eastern expats with a sprinkling of Westerners. All in all, a nice mix of diners.