A royal spread of Mediterranean cuisine

A royal spread of Mediterranean cuisine

The Arabesque food week at Café - the all day dining restaurant - will feature a delicious array of exotic delicacies from Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. Chow down on some delicious preparations by Chef Ali Alhaj, Chef De Cuisine all the way from Park Hyatt Dubai.

Take your pick from exotic delicacies that range from Hummus, Motabel, Muhamarra, Taboulleh, Fattoush, Baba Ghanoush, Kibdat Dajaj (chicken liver with lemon and garlic), Fitter Moutafa (mushroom with coriander, garlic and lemon juice), Mouajanats (dough stuffed with cheese, meat and spinach), Kabab Halabi (lamb minced with walnut and parsley) and much more.  Head to Café from August 25 to 30 to get a taste of Arabesque flavours.

Chef Ali, a Syrian national, has had wide culinary experience in the Middle East. He has worked in the Sheraton Damascus Hotel, Park Hyatt Jeddah and Park Hyatt Dubai. Regarding Mediterranean cuisine, he says, “Arabesque presentations include a range of culinary delights from the Levant region. Strong emphasis is given to healthy and fresh food, including ingredients like olive oil, nuts, lamb, chicken and grains. We thought why not give our customers an opportunity to relish these.”

“We have included a lot of appetisers that largely consist of salads. Then there are meat dishes, exotic sauces and pastes that go with snacks. Desserts are an important part of Mediterranean cuisine and
those have been given due importance.”

Fattoush, for example, is a Levantine bread salad made from toasted or fried pieces of pita bread (khubz ‘arabi) combined with mixed greens and other vegetables. Fattou­sh belongs to the family of dishes known as fattat (plural) or fatta, which use stale flatbread as a base. Asabee Tamer, also known as Date Fingers, on the other hand, makes use of date paste, coconut powder, butter and biscuit.

Hummus is the much-loved food dip or spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. Today, it is popular all over the globe. Baba ghanoush, in contrast, is a dish of cooked eggplant mixed with onions, tomatoes, olive oil and various seasonings. The Arabic term means ‘pampered papa’ or ‘coy daddy’, perhaps with reference to its supposed invention by a member of a royal harem.

“Arabesque food is all about fresh food, from beginning to end. The creations are legitimate Middle East delights which tease the palate and satisfy the hunger in a unique, healthy and pleasant way,” adds Chef Ali.