Fattoush Salad: It is always considered “healthy” to begin a meal with a light sweet and savoury salad. My holiday lunch began with this light salad consisting of diced zucchini, cucumber, tomatoes, crispy pita chips and pomegranate seeds in a slightly tangy sauce. RECOMMENDED.
Hummus Rasasfour: This is a special type of hummus served with pomegranate, molasses and diced chicken. The chicken pieces are extra juicy and have well imbibed the flavours of the molasses.
Mixed Grill Platter: A refreshing break from the regular spiced laden Tandoori platter. The Turkish Adana and lamb kebabs were very juicy, firm, tender and resembled our very own Seekh kebab, albeit subtler but hot. Shish Touk was ohh-so-luscious with the goodness of mint and smoked to perfection with butter. Iranian Urfa chicken kebab was slightly hotter, drier and saltier. RECOMMENDED.
Yamini Chicken Manfi Rice: I shall call this Yemenese biryani. Two humongous pieces of chicken leg and breast on a bed of spiced rice is surely my dream meal. The rice was cooked in Yemenese spices as well as our coarse ones – black cardomam, cloves and black pepper and topped with caramelised onions. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Cheese Gunafa: I though desserts fashioned out of cheese were only the expertise of Europeans. But no, hell no, Middle Eastern cuisine also uses cheese to prepare delectable sugary bites. The cheese gunafa is warm and moderately sweet with fried vermicelli dipped in sugar syrup on top. Not to forget the finely chopped pistachios. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Laidback café by the World of Shalom should be on your list if you want to experience authentic Mediterranean/Lebanese dishes with a comfortable ambience. The menu is extensive, though, covering continental as well as Asian dishes in which the restaurant excels as well. I had an unforgettable experience at this place and here are a few dishes that I tasted:
Non veg mezze platter: First, you dig into the succulent Zata’ar chicken which has a very thin crusty exterior and the lovely taste of tangy Zata’ar spices. Second, you bite the meat fatayar which is a fried fluffy envelope of finely minced lamb – the aroma of Mediterranean spices is extremely inviting. Third, you gorge upon the juicy chicken wings and get your hands dirty in the spicy tangy mixture. Fourth, the fine textured hummus, the creamy babaganoush, the healthy tabbouleh and the sour cacic go well with the meaty dishes. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Shish Touk – If bulky boneless pieces with the characteristic tanginess could be this soft is hard to believe. The well grilled capsicum and tomatoes have imparted their juiciness to the chicken and when the skewers are served with sour salad of perfectly julienned bell peppers, onions, cabbage and tomatoes. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Rubiyan Mishwi: Pan seared prawns in garlic butter sauce is every sea food lover’s dream appetizer. But when those prawns have a creamy melt in the mouth texture with no foul aroma, you can not stop your self at just one. Coupled with a light onion, tomato and bell pepper salad with an occasional bite of chopped garlic, this dish is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Grilled salmon in Buerre blanc sauce: One bite will not be enough, trust me! The salmon is grilled to perfection with chewy interiors and slightly crusty exterior and topped with a white whine and butter based Buerre Blanc sauce which has a creamy texture and moderate consistency. And let us not forget the smoothest potato mash with aptly grilled vegetables drenched in a light tangy dressing with the European herbs and you have a winner of a dish. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Tiramisu: The perfect tiramisu gone slightly haywire because of the excess use of coffee powder on the top which lent a slightly butter flavour to the ensemble. RECOMMENDED.
Blueberry cheesecake: The best cheesecake till date! This was not baked which was an added bonus because the soft chocolate base complimented the utterly mellow cheesecake with embedded blueberries. And the icing on the cake was the blueberry sauce with real mashed blueberries adorning the top. Why did I finish this? HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.