Mazina

Buffets tend to be pretty standard affairs. Those that excel have a good selection, plus live cooking stations to help ensure that most of the food is served fresh. While I’m not a fan of buffets, The Address hotel chain seems to like them – in every branch, one of the first restaurants to open is the one brandishing steam trays. Fortunately, both Fazaris at The Address Old Town and Na3Na3 at The Address Dubai Mall have been winning. Fazaris stood out with its upscale offerings, while Na3Na3 triumphed for its stellar collection of Arabic salads and its fresh bread and grill stations. Unfortunately, it’s not third time lucky at Mazina, the newly opened restaurant at the Address Dubai Marina. It almost seems churlish to speak ill of Mazina, given how friendly the staff are. While exceedingly polite, they weren’t always very knowledgeable. As my date and I pulled up to the cheese station – which looked impressive due to the giant wheels of Swiss on display – the man in charge couldn’t answer too many of our questions. ‘Is this goat’s milk or cow’s?’ my date asked. He blinked, cut it and put it on her plate (it was goat’s). Other times, it was the signs in front of the food that misled – a tray of couscous read ‘ratatouille’. It was clear the staff meant well. At the sushi station, one of the chefs proudly pointed out the fresh wasabi. I was charmed by the effort, but the oddly chunky, gooey concoction didn’t resemble any wasabi I’ve ever come across. While the sushi was decent – tender and fresh – the selection was a bit limited and, at times, odd (I didn’t really understand the dragon fruit sushi roll). The largest and most promising area was the Chinese section. This, I take it, was their hook. At its entrance hung a whole Beijing duck, though in the pancake the meat was tough and over-salted. Dim sum options fared better, though these were mainly a standard assortment of dumplings. We dined on Tuesday, not realising it was ladies’ night: the deal was that if a man and woman dine together, the woman eats for free. As two women, we were told we couldn’t take part in the deal, leading us to wonder why they called it a ladies’ night special. It’s true, we weren’t scarred by our meal, but we also weren’t overly impressed with it. Plenty of other venues (in particular, the other Address chains) serve up buffets with a wider selection and better food. It might be best to stick with them. The bill (for two) 2 x Buffets (with alcohol) Dhs500 Total (including 10 per cent service) Dhs500

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