Bringing Mandi to the masses

When Fayez Al Nusari decided he wanted to change his career and follow his love of food, he delved into the traditions of the Arabian peninsula to provide something new for the region’s market

When the majority of people start a food company they are dealing with straightforward recipes, straightforward marketing, established cuisine, and a customer base which is in the know.

Things weren’t quite so easy for Fayez Al Nusari.

When the former sales and marketing manager decided to follow his foodie passion and live the entrepreneurial dream, he couldn’t just buy a unit, set up shop, and start selling food.

His chosen cuisine was mandi, a traditional Arabic dish of meat and rice which is usually cooked inside a clay oven dug into the ground. But how was he to bring this slow-cooked taste of the Middle East to the fast-paced modern market?

As he explains, the key for Al Nusari and his business, Mandilicious, was education.

“This is my own food, from my own part of the world,” he says. “I’m a foodie and this is the food I know. But nobody had thought to do it in the malls before.

“Very quickly there appeared to be logistic complexities in terms of preparing this cuisine. It takes between four to six hours for each meal to be prepared. So if you’re cooking for somebody who wants it right away, it’s impossible. And if you cook it somewhere else in preparation, then how do you keep it full of taste and fresh for so many hours?

“This was a hard thing to solve at the time. Because I had to keep the project confidential, it was important that I educated myself. I studied, read a lot, did the hard work, and solved the problem. When you understand the technology and the food, then it’s very simple. It’s all about preparation. We were able keep the food for up to 24 hours without losing moisture. We overcame that challenge.”

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Posted by: shadab k

I did try the camel meat mandi at mandilicious and did like it.I have not come across any mandi restaurant offering camel meat mandi.

Posted by: Husain

Mandi started with the masses and remains so. I think what this marketing guy is trying to pull off is bringing it to the Tourists who would be willing to pay that premium tourists usually pay for "traditional cuisine" served in a mall. Just wish him the best of luck.

Posted by: MSA

I am sorry, but this is not a "NEW" item/dish in UAE. You can see scores of restaurants now selling nothing else but MANDI all over Sharjah Dubai Abu Dhabi, and it is cheap. So I am wondering what the price range will be especially if its in MALLS. The main attraction of Mandi is that the quantity is large, and it is cheap, so if it becomes expensive, I don't think people will be interested

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