I'll Buy It

Its been awhile since I’ve had middle eastern food. I don’t know very much about it and my experience with it is limited to a few visits to Tarbush, Ranoush and Maroush. You see a pattern here? The latter two were during my years as a student in London. And even then, it was limited to chicken kebabs with extra garlic sauce please!

After Le Bernardin closed down, the lot on that corner was vacant for almost a year before Al Bait Lebanese restaurant came along. All the shop lots on the road have the same layout so it can be quite confusing telling them apart! Quite funny really. I thought I was walking into Copper Chimney. We were ushered upstairs because Boo wanted to smoke. We were the only two people up there. There was a tv screen and powder blue sofas set up in one corner. After we ordered, we realised it was tuned to AEC for our benefit. Er… It was thoughtful but if I wanted to watch tragic Chinese serials whilst eating dinner, I would’ve stayed home to have dinner with mum. The waitress was sweet, enthusiastic and helpful.

We ordered the mixed grill plate which had beef, lamb and chicken kebabs, fatoush (salad with herbs and toasted bread), mohamara (pomegranate and walnut spread) and grilled kibbeh (bulgar wheat pastry stuffed with minced lamb). The meal came with flat bread and assorted chilli sauces. The salad was crisp with a subtle hint of lime and mint. We both liked the mohamara and kibbeh. The mohamara had a nice smokey flavour with a hint of chilli. The kibbeh was tasty but did not look very appealing as it was soaked in olive oil. So much for the healthier grilled version! The mixed grill, although tasty, was not “wow”. I think it may have something to do with the meat. It was overcooked and therefore not terribly juicy. The meal came up to be about RM93 which included a large bottle of mineral water. Bit pricey considering the mohamara and kibbeh were side dishes.

We finished just in time to witness a rather obnoxious man, who had just sat down next to us with two others, give our sweet waitress an earful about wine. Not only did he make a sweeping untrue statement which was “They don’t know how to serve red wine in this country because they don’t drink it”. He also went on to say “I am Armenian and he is English you know” as if that would bear some weight to his point because these two countries are such big producers of fine wine! I’m no sommelier but even I know that “How can you chill this wine?! You must serve it at room temperature!” in this country would make red wine turn into vinegar. Ok not quite vinegar but you know what I mean. Eejit!


  1. I'm no expert either - it's been Tarbush for me so far which has been pretty good esp the Starhill one.

    the mohamara sounds interesting and something you don't see around.


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