Having lived in an Arabic country for 4 years now, I have just gotten around to liking their cuisine very recently. The boyfriend who hails from Greece which is part of the Mediterranean has got a heavy liking for it and I occasionally give in to his craving every so often – against my will of course, until recently. Last week, we were both famished and tired and lazy to dress up to go somewhere nice so we opted to the nearby Grand Abu Shakra in Al Barsha which is a few steps away from where we were to have a late lunch. Little did I know that it will be THE only Arabic restaurant that I won’t mind to be dragged to in the future. It’s an Egyptian restaurant nestled behind Mall of the Emirates which serves shisha as well. We ordered the following:
The top left was pickled vegetables, it comes for free. That’s one good thing about Arabic restaurants, they give you freshly baked breads and pickled vegetables for free before they even hand you their menu. Hehehe. Some of them even gives you a free large bottle of water. 🙂 Top right was vine leaves stuffed with rice. The boyfriend loved it but I don’t really get it. He said they have the same in Greece, we have that as well in the Philippines though but the difference is we put sticky, sweet rice inside the leaves which isn’t meant to be eaten. The bottom photo was a garlic sauce which I love. It’s a staple sauce for grilled meat and sometimes even fries but anyway the boyfriend uses it for everything including bread.
We were after the chicken liver and the boyfriend thought that I might want to have rice as part of my meal (because I’m Asian and an Asian who doesn’t eat rice for a meal is very rare) but I’m fairly certain that I took only two tiny fork portions out of it as I was too busy stuffing my face with the next dish:
It was THE best lamb chops I’ve ever had. It’s grilled to perfection, not overcooked as it retained its juiciness and also not undercooked. It was perfect! Seriously! It reminded me of home when my brother used to grill pork liempo just like this. I love the hint of charcoal-y taste which most of the grilled foods have and this one’s got the right amount of it. I gave a piece to the boyfriend and finished the rest. Just by writing about it makes my mouth water.
I’m the one one who usually orders the kofta but since I was craving for a steak at the time and I wanted to cut something out of a bone, I opted to have the lamb chops instead. 🙂 So this dish was for the boyfriend and I just took a piece of it, I liked it too but I loved the lamb chops even more.
We had an extra order of fries and an avocado juice for me and a cola for the boyfriend. The bill for all those came up to only about AED200. Another good thing about these Arabic restaurants, cheap with no frills whatsoever. I heard they also have a branch somewhere in Deira and they do deliver too. I wonder though if a lamb chops for delivery will be as good as for dine in.