Mama Tani Cafe ; Serving Traditional Emirati fare with a Contemporary twist

Last week me and my dining partner had a chance to stop by at Mama Tani Café to enjoy some Emirati Soul Food.  It was food as good as grandma made it, with a delightful contemporary twist, of course.

'Mama Tani' means second mother in Arabic and Mama Tani café takes inspiration from the founders’ grandmother who inspired their belief in fresh food made daily with only the finest ingredients.  And doing full justice to its name, Mama Tani Café offers traditional and authentic Emirati food, eaten by UAE nationals all over the country.

The Food
Run by a Emirati brother-sister duo, the café is very widely known for its authentic Khameer bread – the traditional Emirati bread with humble Bedouin origins. This flatbread had once fallen completely out of favor with the upscale eaters of UAE but restaurateurs like Omar and Maitha Al Shamsi are leaving no stones unturned to revive the love for this traditional bread in all its former glory. They do this by customizing the bread to suit modern tastes. Adding a contemporary twist makes it much preferable for today's modern generation who rely heavily on Fast food or 'food on the go'.

At Mama Tani, the Khameer bread is served with a wide array of fillings options. Basil leaves, egg, coriander, zaatar, cheese & honey, oman chips are just few of the interesting options for those wanting to try something different than the usual.

What we had…
For starters we had creamy, delicious Lentil soup, arguably one of the best we tasted in recent times. It can definitely rival the same offering by many ‘authentic’ Indian restaurants in the country.

For salads we tried Date and Walnut Celery Salad and Roasted Beetroot salad.  The Beetroot salad was nice but the Walnut Celery salad tasted better as it was a delightful medley of mix green leaves, rocket leaves, celery, fitted dates, Toasted walnut, feta cheese and apple lemon vinaigrette. The fitted dates added the sweetness and the apple-lemon vinaigrette contributed to the tanginess, making it just perfect.

For Entre we tried Mini Khameer Burger Sandwich, Taouk Khameer Sandwich and 'The Basil' – a Khameer sandwich stuffed with basil leaves, fresh labneh, walnuts and black olives.

Mini Khameer Burger Sandwich had a layer of nicely cooked beef patty, topped with crispy caramelized onion and lots of creamy cheddar. It was served along with Stone baked herb Idaho potato wedges. The burger was mini in size, but was sufficient in quantity to fill our stomach.

The Basil Khameer tasted fresh and gave us a good sense of what the Emiratis have for breakfast! Finally,Taouk Khameer Sandwich which was a wrap of chargrilled chicken, Arabic pickles and garlic sauce in stone baked Khameer, sealed the deal for us.

As our stomachs were already filled to the brim, we tried to wash down the indulgence with some fresh garden mixes. We went for Basil orange juice which was refreshing.

We also had Pistachio rose cake for dessert. It tasted as amazing as it looked.

The Ambiance
Small but spacious with a very clean and well laid out interior. Interesting Emirati decor surround the space. There are also writings on the wall that explain the name 'Mama Tani'. There's a carom board placed on one of the tables for those who want to enjoy a game till their food gets ready.

The Service
The waiters were pleasant, attentive and served with a smile. They were well-aware of the food they served and were happy to answer any questions we had.

The verdict
With a promise of  ‘a taste of home’ Mama Tani’s offerings certainly kindle nostalgia and invoke fond memories of childhood for many Emiratis. The food is something that not only Emiratis, but all others can enjoy.

Food: 4.5/5
Value: 4/5
Ambiance: 4/5
Décor: 4/5
Service: 4/5
Overall Rating: 9


Where: Sheik Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard Residences 2, Opposite Vida Hotel, Downtown Dubai
Hours:  8 AM to 11:45 PM, all week.
Atmosphere: Brightly lit, interesting decor on the walls, very clean, alfresco dining
Prices: AED 300 for two people (approx.)
Credit cards: Cash & All major credit cards accepted
Sound level: Zero
Wheelchair access: Accessible
Service: Prompt, very friendly and hospitable.
Recommended: Date & Walnut Celery salad, Mini Khameer Burger, Pistachio cake
Reservations:  04 4432441
Facebook :  
Mama Tani Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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