By now, most residents of Dubai have visited The Pointe on Palm Jumeirah. However, with so many restaurants to choose from and a bit of overlap in the categories, selecting where to dine at this destination can be tricky. Today, we approach Samakjé, which translates as ‘fish expert’ in Arabic, and is located on the bottom floor on the east side of The Pointe (where Seafood Kitchen used to be located). There are stunning views of the Arabian Gulf, Atlantis The Palm, and The Palm Fountains on the expansive terrace.
The interior of the restaurant is fitted out with calming neutral hues, hanging pendant lights, and a bar outfitted in wood. At the rear of the dining room, we notice a well-stocked fresh fish market-style counter, where guests can pick their personal catch of the day. The downstairs is quite large, making it easier to stagger guests, and we are happy to see all social distancing regulations are in place.
My dining partner and I choose a table on the terrace to take advantage of the view and the perfect weather. We look over an extensive menu filled with seafood dishes. Of course, should you be torn between what to order, the staff are knowledgeable and on hand to give advice. Samakjé’s menu showcases both Mediterranean and Levant influences, and there is a range of classic mezze-style dishes (both hot and cold), a unique raw bar (trust me), soups, salads, and fresh fish. I am delighted to see a selection of raw dishes, including locally sourced Dibba Bay Oysters. I decided to start with the Mediterranean Sashimi (seabass) which arrives with a pomegranate-sumac sauce and other accompaniments. I’m not disappointed by this unique hybrid. Guests can build their own sashimi, and I’m impressed with my abilities. If you are looking to play it safe a Salmon Tartare is available.
I don’t think I’ve ever tried Lobster Kibbeh or Hummus Beiruti before. The hummus is rich, creamy, and the texture of the crispy fava beans and herbs make for a uniquely beautiful plate. I also appreciate the basket of freshly baked bread it’s served with. Unfortunately, I could’ve used just a bit more lobster flavour in the kibbeh. We also sample the Rakakat a fried pastry stuffed with cheese and served with a wild cherry dip. There are also a number of classics, including Vine Leaves, a generous portion of Fattoush, and my dining partner is delighted to find Fried Bezri, White Bait, deep fried in a seasonal batter served with a tahini tartar sauce. I’d never tried white bait before but enjoyed the crispiness and accompanying tahini tartar sauce and fresh lemon. The portion is also generous for a group to split. Worth mentioning, this dish is limited and isn’t always available due to Samakjé only wanting to offer guests the best and freshest seafood.
For our mains, we opt for the Red Snapper from the fish counter (market price, as all the fish are) and choose to have it grilled, and sauces to accompany, all at the suggestion of our waiter. He also (correctly) thought we might enjoy Grilled Prawns, which are also worth ordering. You will be spoilt for seafood here with offerings ranging from Shrimps, Lady Fish, Seabass, Dover Sole, Red Snapper, Turbot, Squid, Hamour, Sea Bream and Blue Crab, with many more on display.
Those who love fish will be delighted by not only the range of selection but the options to prepare. With preparation of the whole fish, the serving is easily enough for three (or more) people, based on how much mezze you’ve indulged in. Be sure to leave room for dessert as the team at Samakjé will ensure you leave with that sweet craving satisfied.
With The Pointe becoming more of a known destination with the launch of the record-breaking Palm Fountain, a sundowner (or two) at Samakjé, and the selection of fresh fish, with the teams warm service makes it worth heading along for a bite. To ensure the best possible experience, make a reservation for the weekend, grab a seat on the terrace and take in the views of the fountains.
Having just launched a Weekend Family Lunch offer on Fridays and Saturdays from 12noon to 5.00pm, guests are invited to enjoy a set menu for AED 195, a set menu with free flowing selected beverages AED 295 and children under 12 can enjoy a special menu for AED 55.
Mediterranean Sashimi, AED 58
Lobster Kibbeh, AED 58
Hummus Beiruti, AED 32
Rakakat, AED 29
Vine Leaves, AED 32
Fattoush, AED 29
Fried Bezri, AED 58
Red Snapper, AED 169
Samakjé Restaurant & Lounge, The Pointe, Dubai, +971 4 584 6777