Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
@caption. Makanek sausage.
@caption. Makanek sausage.

Food obsession: makanek sausage

Having not eaten a sausage since childhood, I was reluctant to try it when a friend ordered makanek at a Lebanese restaurant, but now I am embracing all kinds of sausage.

Sausages had the longest-standing record on my list of top foods for a happy schoolgirl. While my family would be sinking their teeth into juicy beef patties, I would plead for a simple hot dog swaddled in a white bun, with extra, extra ketchup please. Over time, I grew out of my thick casing of love for sausages. Such was the level of ennui I had experienced after a childhood devotion to the meaty rolls that I cannot even recollect eating them during college. Once I graduated to a yuppie job in New York, ennui turned to scoff. Why waste tummy space with simpleton sausage when I could regale my palate with Venezuelan arepas or plump crescents of salmon sashimi?

I would have never ordered sausages at Al Hallab, a Lebanese restaurant in Dubai, if not for a sausage-smitten friend. I argued back venomously. It was a colossal crime to shove sausages on a table that was to be plied with delicate cheese fatayers, glistening vine leaves stuffed with lemony rice, scalloped hummus and mutabal ornate with pomegranate gems. But when the disputed tray of Lebanese sausages emerged, baby logs oozing a deep, bloody sauce that wafted of sweet spices and citrus, the sausage-sceptic in me was -silenced.

I reluctantly bit into the fried makanek, my curiosity elbowing out a staunch stubbornness to partake of something that felt far too childish to make a mature mezze appearance. The supple sausage skins tore at the touch, oozing out crumbly moist beef that hinted distinctly of cumin, red pepper and the sticky syrup that gave the makanek its vampire appearance acidly sweet pomegranate molasses. The hummus and mutabal retreated into oblivion.

Since then, Ive indulged in Armenian sujuk, Moroccan merguez and Argentinian sausages that tasted of gruff primal desire far removed from the links I had pandered to as a child. With makanek starting the trend, it may not be long before sausages regain their title, albeit in their more mature spiced forms, back on my list of top eats.

Makanek is available at Al Hallab, multiple branches in the UAE, call 04 282 3388

Arva Ahmed blogs about hidden food gems in Old Dubai at www.ILiveinaFryingPan.com

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 This four-bedroom villa covers 4,790 square feet and is part of a new compound in Umm Suqeim.

In photos: Beachside villa in Umm Suqeim, Dubai for Dh800,000

Taking a closer look at a four-bedroom villa in Umm Seqeim, Dubai.

 Suresh Raina is part of the the IPL's Chennai Super Kings team, which take on Kings XI Punjab on April 18 in Abu Dhabi. Photo by Duif du Toit / Gallo Images / Getty Images

Chennai Super Kings cricketer Suresh Raina spotted at Ferrari World

One of the top batsmen and bowlers of the Indian Premier League’s Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Raina spent a day at Ferrari World with some of his team mates, and seemed to particularly enjoy the world’s fastest roller-coaster.

 Shah Rukh Khan plays a shot during a friendly match between the members of the support and administrative staff of Royal Challengers Bangalore and his Kolkata Knight Riders cricket team. Dibyangshu Sarkar / AFP

When the worlds of Bollywood and cricket collide

With the first game of the Indian Premier League beginning today in the UAE, we explore the league’s Bollywood connections, which are as glitzy as they are controversial.

 A rendering of People Abu Dhabi by Crystal. Courtesy People Abu Dhabi by Crystal

People Abu Dhabi by Crystal to open on Saadiyat Island

Abu Dhabi’s nightlife scene just gets better and better. After venues such as O1NE Yas Island and Iris in Yas Marina opening last year, it’s Saadiyat’s turn with the launch of the glamorous People Abu Dhabi by Crystal.

 Dumyé Dolls’s fashionable rag dolls. Rebecca McLaughlin-Duane / The National

Top takeaways from Fashion Forward and where to find them

The ideas and designs that caught our attention and where you can learn more


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National