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Middle Eastern

Middle Eastern

Exotic food that I can't pronounce
Chew Sher Mein
Chew Sher Mein

A mainstay at Mediterranean restaurants, tabbouleh is a parsley-based salad with burghum wheat, cherry tomatoes and onions. It's got some kind of tangy dressing on it that really goes well with the veggies (think Italian salad). This was really refreshing between bites of the heavier meats and carbs and the parsley flavor wasnt overpowering. Which is nice because I don't like parsley and eating it just by itself sounds weird to say the least.

7/10

2 Likes

Apparently halloumi cheese has a high melting point and it's property as a semi-hard cheese makes it one that is favorable for grilling.

4 slices of halloumi cheese ($16) were presented with this portion. I really wanted to like and appreciate the brininess and flavor of the cheese, but I couldn't. Not even pairing it with other foods could dull its overpowering saltiness. I liked the bite and texture of each slice, but this is really for the hardcore cheese lovers.

3/10

1 Like

Falafels are crunchy fritters made of chickpeas and broad beans. Qasr's version ($14 for 4 pieces) had a crunchy exterior and a crumbly interior. It was served with a yogurt dip and some salad.

It was one of my favorites in the spread I ate. They werent too oily and the earthiness of the chickpea worked well with the creamy yogurt. I loved the breadcrumbs used to coat each falafel and the way the crumbs that made up the falafel was just barely packed together, falling apart in my mouth with each bite. Perfect just to whet the appetite.

8/10

1 Like

Really wanted to try a lamb dish since it's less common in Asian cuisine, so I tried this charcoal grilled lamb chops served with pickled red cabbage and a choice of saffron rice or French fries. ($32)

These delightful lollipops of meat were really juicy and I loved the spice rub/marinade that was packed onto them. They came off the bone with minimal effort and pulling, without that gamey muttony flavor which can taint this wonderful red meat. They also had a nice smokey char from the barbeque grill.

I just wish they could have been slightly more tender and pink in the center. That would have elevated this dish to an above-8 level.

7.5/10

This delicious meat platter ($55.80) came with 2 lamb meatballs, 1 chicken skewer, 1 beef skewer, 2 lamb chops and a side serving of fries and yogurt.

The lamb chops were really tender and juicy, grilled to a blushing pink medium rare in the center. The chicken was a tad on the dry side, and the beef while pink in the middle, seemed really sinewy and tough to chew and swallow. The skewers were however, perfectly cooked and seasoned, and not too oily. The lamb meatballs faced a similar problem, while deliciously spiced were a tad too dry and not juicy at all.

The meats went along with a tangy, refreshing yogurt sauce and the change in texture that the fries gave helped elevate the entire experience. All in all, quite a delicious sharing platter!

7.5/10

The hummus ($15.90) here is so amazing. It is so rich and creamy, I just cannot believe it is made of chickpea. It's got that drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of almonds to change up the texture and give it a slightly nutty, earthy flavor.

A must-order is a side of pita bread ($3.90) to go with the hummus. Yes it's carbs on carbs on oil, but that's exactly what makes it taste so glorious. The pita bread is thick, chewy but not doughy. It is slightly warm with just a drizzle of oil, the perfect contrasting vessel for a generous teaspoonful of hummus. I also tried the hummus with cucumber ($4.90), which gave it a really refreshing twist.

What an absolutely delicious wrap ($17). It came with grilled marinated chicken breast. The inside was filled with tomatoes, pickles and garlic sauce. It was served with sweet potato fries and coleslaw.

It was a really flavorful wrap, with the marinade enhancing the delightfully tender chicken and the garlic and tomato flavor enhancing each other. And that delicious hummus in the background lending its deep earthy notes to the dish. Every mouthful was so full of flavor.

Finally I loved the sweet potato as well; they made the perfect vessel for hummus or any of the delicious dips that were provided with the other dishes.

1 Like

Shawarmas were made famous by the Avengers and I really wanted to give it a shot. This $18 bowl consisted of creamy hummus, quinoa, crunchy vegetables (lettuce, tomato and cucumber), chickpeas, harissa and drizzled with tahini sauce. Garnish was a simple sprinkle of almond flakes and a lemon wedge.

The pieces of lamb alone were mindblowing. Super tender, juicy and flavorful, they were perfectly cooked. Not chewy at all, but yet with that distinct muttony taste. The veggies were super refreshing and needed in a bowl otherwise full of very strong flavors. The tang of the tomato was exactly what the dish needed to balance out.

It tastes like a zhnged-up bowl of Stuff'd. With exceptionally delicious meat.

2 Likes

This $21 platter was super value for money. It came with a side of hummus with pita bread and vegetable sticks (celery, carrot and cucumber) and an incredible variety of Mediterranean snacks.

There were these warak enab (the two leafy looking rolls) which turned out to be stuffed grape leaves. They had a rice and vegetable stuffing and tasted...interesting.

Labneh is a type of Greek yogurt with a dash of olive oil. It was thick, creamy and tangy. Perfect to dip heavier meats and other deep fried stuff in.

There were 2 of the most delicious falafels I've ever had. These flat disks of ground chickpeas were crispy and delightfully spiced. Pairing perfectly with a savory tahini sauce.

The kibbeh here is made of spiced ground beef shaped into balls, stuffed with rice and vegetables and deep fried with more yogurt sauce. Kind of tasted like an inverse onigiri.

Finally, tabbouleh is a parsley and tomato based salad. It's certainly interesting eating parsley as the main component of a dish rather than as a garnish. But it turned out to be really delicious and refreshing.

1 Like

This is my first Middle Eastern experience aside from Stuff'd burritos. And I have been missing out for the last 22 years!

This $18 platter came with hummus (mashed chickpeas), muhammara (red pepper and walnut) and moutabal (eggplant).

The hummus was incredibly creamy and rich which surprised me because that isn't a flavor profile I'd normally associate with chickpea. The muhammara was so hearty and savory, with just a hint of earthiness from the walnut. The moutabal...I would never have guessed it was from eggplant. I was pleasantly surprised to find it so slightly sweet, so different from the bitter aftertaste of eggplant that led me to avoid it in my childhood days.

And the pitas were irregularly shaped, which made them all the more charming because of their handmade nature. They were chewy and warm and just the perfect carbohydrate vessel to deliver the dip. Or the carrot sticks, cucumber and celery for a more refreshing change.

9/10

I lift 💪🏻 I eat 🍩 I science 🤓

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