Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Meze and Shawarma - Al Amar, Kuala Lumpur

Much as I love whinging about Pavilion whenever we head there, I must admit it's not a bad shopping centre. Pavilion is as KL as Mid Valley and 1U are suburbia - and has some pretty decent shops and shopping is what we were there for. Shoe shopping to be precise ... because ... well, c'mon let's be honest... why would someone who lives in Dubai (Razan) come all the way to KL to shop?? :) Anyway, food wise - we decided on Al Amar on the top floor, though I'm not quite sure why we thought it would be a good idea to take Razan to a Lebanese restaurant - she did just arrive from Dubai two days earlier and must have Middle Eastern food oozing from every pore. Probably because Candice and I thought it would be amusing :) (Odd sense of humour we have)

Pita Bread - Al Amar, Kuala Lumpur

Seated on their spacious balcony, which is so much nicer than their stiff and formal indoor seating area, we did started on our mini Lebanese feast with an assortment of meze dishes - served with these fresh-out-of-the-oven pita beards. I've never seen them puffed up like that before and was quite excited :)

Houmous - Al Amar

Houmous - the classic chickpea staple dish whenever I have Arab food. This version was alright - not the best, not the worst.

Moutabal/Baba Ghanoush - Al Amar, Kuala Lumpur

Moutabal or baba ghanoush - roasted, peeled and mashed aubergine blended with tahini, lemon juice, garlic and lemon juice. It was slightly lumpier than some I've had (not that I mind lumpy food, mind you .... I have a great fondness for lumpy mash potato:) and it had that wonderful smokiness. Razan proclaimed it 'OK' but this was definitely one of my favourites of the meal.

Tabouleh - Al Amar, Kuala Lumpur

For the obligatory vegetable dish, we had tabouleh. I love tabouleh - a salad of finely chopped flat leaf parsley, tomatoes, lemon juice and olive oil. This really should have bulgar wheat in this too but I don't recall seeing any. This serving was a little too tart and didn't have enough depth of flavour to it - quite disappointing.

Sambousek - Al Amar, Kuala Lumpur

Sambousek - Al Amar, Kuala Lumpur

We also got a portion of sambousek - I think that is what these little triangular pastries are called, it certainly matched the description when I looked it up online :) Filled with minced lamb, spinach, pine nuts and spices, they were served hot off the deep fryer. Not at all that greasy either. I believe Razan gave it a 7 but I wasn't personally too impressed. It missed a certain 'oomph'.

Mixed Shawarma Platter - Al Amar, Kuala Lumpur

For the main we shared a mixed shawarma platter with skewers of grilled cubed lamb, chicken and minced lamb. Served with pungent garlic mayonnaise and a side salad of parsley, grilled onion and tomato. This was rather good - the garlic mayo was deliciously pungent and I wish there was more meat. However, the little side parsley salad was rather wilted and wasn't fit to be served but out it came anyway - minus points for that.

Al-Amar really isn't too bad - the food's alright, the large balcony at the end of the restaurant is a great place to chill - think sofas and good views over Bukit Bintang but expect to pay 'Pavilion prices'. It was almost dead when we were there with only one other table occupied - very likely from the Middle East as they kept staring at Razan, trying to place this member of their kin :)

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