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  • Writer's pictureHunger Leads

MAISAN15 | Café and Gallery

Maisan15 is a quirky little gem hidden away in Al Barsha South that was formerly known as Cabin. It’s not the easiest place to find, tucked away in the corner of a building on the opposite side to the car park, surrounded by an awkward one-way street. By the time you see the venue’s sign, you’ve already missed the parking, so you’ll have to drive all the way round again. However, we were to discover it’s well worth the hunt!

It boasts a simplistic, artsy décor of plywood diner booths, each with a different style tabletop looking on to the open plan kitchen, and concrete polished floors. Art from local artists lines the walls, and there is a small library up at the entrance as you enter from the outdoor terrace. The menu can only be found on Instagram, so you’ll have to dig out your smartphone to see what’s on offer.

We ordered the Zammous to start, with zaalouk (a Moroccan salad of cooked aubergine and tomatoes), hummus, smoked shatta (chili paste), ras el hanout (spice mix), roasted hazelnuts, olive oil, and a wonderful steaming hot house bread straight from the oven. This may be hands down the most delicious, nutty and creamy hummus we’ve ever had, as well as beautifully presented, with the zaalouk complementing it exquisitely. We imagine that the 6 dishes at the start of the menu are made to be shared, as this portion was fit for a party of 4.


We also ordered a Chicken Melt of fried chicken, toasted sourdough, cheddar cheese, honey mustard, and jalapenos, and the Mashallah Zinker burger of fried chicken, fried onions and mashallah sauce (a kind of homemade spicy mayo). They were the epitome of comfort food, no sharing required here! Both exceptional, they boasted fried chicken breasts which managed that rare combination of being crunchy but not dry, and moist without being greasy. Truly impressive!

Chicken Melt
Mashallah Zinker

As full as we were at this stage, we had to try dessert, so we made an order for the Crunchy Churros that were exactly as described. These classic churros with cardamon and cinnamon sugar and homemade chocolate dipping sauce had a delightfully crunchy exterior which collapsed into a deliciously soft and doughy interior as you bit into them. With just a light dusting of sugar, they’re perfect if you don’t like your desserts too sweet. They are big and they come in a batch of 6, so you definitely want to be sharing these. We were unfortunately not able to finish them all, but we certainly gave it our best shot!

Crunchy Churros

Another special little place of great value, they also have a lovely breakfast menu, so we’ll be sure to give that a try next time.

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