Cuisine from Saharan lands

Cuisine from Saharan lands

The name refers to a mirage in the Sahara desert and so is the location of this place at Qutab Institutional Area. If it wasn’t for its location inside Clarion Hotel, Zerzura would have been a ‘lost city’, just like the inspiration behind its name!

Being inside the hotel escalates the costs of the dishes by quite a few hundreds.

But if one needs to relish lamb, as it is cooked in the Middle East, then the prices should be given a miss for head chef Sanjay Yadav minces the lamb with full strength to dish out delicacies that leave behind tasty memories!

Be it the Moroccon Harira (traditional lamb soup), Lahmacun (Turkish pizza) or (char grilled) Chelo Kebab, the lamb meat is so tender that it becomes difficult to remember anything else that is on the menu. 

The soup makes for a filling and delectable start and the broken noodles provide the required crunch to the tender meat chunks in the stock. 

This is followed by the crispy thin-crust pizza, which the chef ensures is tasted before it gets cold. A gesture quite remarkable!

The appearance of grapes, Haloumi, Spinach Salad with Pine Nuts is quite short in this desert journey due to the soggy pine nuts and the awful halloumi.  

For those in a hurry, the choice of meal can be made with the help of their zodiac signs. The preset menu for Air, Earth, Fire and Water signs is quite innovative. 

Metrolife chooses to go a la carte and a platter of kebabs makes its way through hookahs to reach the table thereafter. In this non-vegetarian kebab platter, the chef specially curates a few selections for Metrolife. It comprises a thought-through variety of which Mahi and Chelo kebabs are the stars.

When it comes to the mid-east cuisine how can one miss sampling hummus, moutabbal and muhammara? Set in two different platters, these dips arrive along with the starters.

While hummus is quite authentic in taste, the muhammara doesn’t appease the palate. The right amount of eggplant and tahini in Moutabbal is comparatively better, specially when tried with crunchy falafel.

The tabbouleh (salad) served with these dips is refreshing but Cheese Sambosik are regular cheese samosas and Sumac Grilled Fish Skewers are too pink in colour outside!

In the absence of tasty pita breads, the bread basket acts as a good option. Especially, the soft herb bread which absorbs moisture from the air, hardens and tastes flavourful.      

The belly dancers get ready as the sun sets and the main course arrives in tagine. Chicken and Saffron Tagine with Green Olives and Preserved Lemon is our pick.

Though the flavour of saffron is too subtle in the dish, the gravy is rich and the chicken tastes delicious with cous cous. Equally tasty is the Gozleme. Even though the chef doesn’t get a chance to express his prowess at lamb here, he prepares a wonderful roll of dough filled with spinach and feta. Brushed with butter, the hot rolls make way for a vegetarian treat. 

Making it simpler for people with a sweet tooth to enjoy, the Zerzura Dessert Sampler arrives. The honey basket holds the handmade Rosemary and Honey Ice Cream which is the best of the lot. 

The Baklava, though full of nuts, isn’t impressive. Unfortunate for a place that specialises in Middle East cuisine!

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