Celebrating Middle Eastern delicacies
CHEF Abdel Wahed, from the Sheraton Sharm Hotel in Egypt, has managed to add elements from the Middle East, Egypt, Iraq and his homeland, Syria to his menu that is ‘so much more than just kebabs’.
We began our feast with fattoush – a Lebanese hot mezze of cucumber, onion, lettuce, green pepper, tomato and sumac topped with crispy pita bread. Mohammara – a sweet and spicy dip made from walnuts and sun-dried tomatoes, and the olive salad that came next was a lovely mix of green olives, tomato, peppers, carrots and feta cheese, but it was the zesty pomegranate sauce that really lifted the dish. We also loved the vine leaves stuffed with rice, tomatoes, onion and fresh mint, drizzled in pomegranate sauce and olive oil and bursting with flavour. Chef Abdel has Moroccan and Lebanese soups in addition to lamb, shrimp and chicken salads.
Mains comprised shish tawook, tagine couscous and moussaka. The shish tawook was a succulent chargrilled chicken kebab with cheese and walnuts mixed in too. The dish came with a divine garlic cream sauce that was light and tangy. The famous Moroccan couscous with chargrilled mixed vegetables was a great hit with the vegetarians, while the moussaka – fried eggplant cooked in tomato gravy, with fried potato and green chilli, topped with parmesan cheese was a clear winner.
Dessert was sinful with Egypt, Syria and Iraq well-represented in the khataief asafiry – mini pancakes filled with rose flavored cream and slathered with pistachios, zienab fingers – sinfully fried semolina fritters, and a traditional Egyptian dessert made with milk, pistachio and dry coconut. And don’t worry if you’re stuffed. Their after-dinner herb tea will help you digest it in no time.
Rs. 2,500 upwards without alcohol. At Sheraton Hotel Bangalore, Brigade Gateway, Malleshwaram. Details: 42521000
— Aakanksha Devi