FOOD & DRINK
Zor Dubai restaurant review
Words by Nathan Irvine
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Uzbek food is quite the eclectic mix. Well, if the menu of Zor at The Pointe, Palm Jumeirah is anything to go by. We didn’t really know what to expect as part of the fun of going to a new restaurant is waiting to get there to see what they have. Seated in the comfy booth while taking in the live music, we scanned Zor’s menu and were surprised by what we found.
Influences from the Far East and Middle East are clear to see. Hot skillet dishes of veggies and chicken or beef could’ve been lifted straight from your favourite Chinese restaurant. And the tabouleh, tawook and more represented the Levantine cuisine. Specific delights from Uzbekistan were present and correct too – more on these soon.
Obviously, one of the biggest fears when the cuisines are mixed like this is that the kitchen may stretch themselves too thin and be average at best. However, Zor has no such problems and apart from a fairly tasteless batata harra (seasoned potatoes in sweet chili paste) the rest of the menu great.
Standout dishes include the incredibly refreshing tomato and pomegranate salad that was rich with plump, fresh cherry tomatoes. And the Uzbek Samsa, little savoury pastries filled with vegetables, onions and adjika sauce, are incredibly moreish.
The naughtiest, and tastiest, dish we had was the cheese cheburek. It’s fried dough stuffed with mozzarella, tomatoes, onions and coriander and it’s brought to your table like a savoury balloon. As the waiter slices it in half, it deflates and gives off the most wonderful aromas. Eating it with a little bit of sour cream was an absolute delight and something we’d definitely have again. And these were just the starters.
Onto the mains, and we opted for the tawook sai, which the hot skillet veggies and chicken we talked about above, and the lamb shank. The tawook sai was good – packed with flavours from the cuts of chicken, peppers and tangy sauce. But the lamb shank that we ordered with buttery mash potatoes was a great. Each mouthful of lamb was succulent and paired fantastically well with the fluffy mash.
We finished off with the pistachio meringue, that was a nutty and sweet delight and the vareniki, a churro-like dessert that was filled with cream and berry compote. A fitting way to bookend the meal.
We’re pleased to say that Zor has introduced us to the excellent spectrum of cuisines that Uzbekistan has to offer. It’s a mix that works wonders for those groups of diners with various tastes.
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