I didn’t have any idea about the levantine cuisine until I dined at Awani recently at outlet village. Levantine cuisine is the traditional cuisine of the Levant known in Arabic as the Bilad ash sham and Mashriq. This region shared many culinary traditions with Ottoman cuisine before and during the Turkish -Ottoman Empire, and it continues to carry an influentially mainstream character in a majority of the dishes today.Perhaps the most distinctive aspect of Levantine cuisine is mezzeh including tabbouleh,hummus and baba ghanoush.(courtesy wikipedia).
The spacious dining area with outdoor seating is perfect for Dubai’s present weather.To start with we had cucumber soup as welcome shots and it was perfect for this condition.It was prepared with the right amount of levantine ingredients.Then came our various kind of salads and some were unique too.
Bomali salad-It consist of pomelo fruits,iceberg lettuce,corn,fresh mushrooms etc with chef’s special sauce.
Quinoa salad-It had quinoa,spinach,raisins etc and dressed with olive oil.
We called for fresh orange juice and watermelon juice to accompany it.
Fattoush- My favorite among them all with roasted pita bread and fresh greens and cucumber.The fresh ingredients used in all dishes makes them stand out from other places.
Awani tabbouleh- They have the usual tabbouleh but ingredients like pineapple,lentil,pomegranate etc makes it pretty different.
Muttabal-Grilled aubergine smashed & mixed with olive oil ,garlic,tahini etc and topped with meat was another dish with an Awani twist.
Hummus-It comes with generous amount of tahini and olive oil.The texture was very smooth too.
Hot mezzeh-Among them my favourites were;
Batata harra-Its potato well marinated in spices and fried.Though it was a simple dish,It could win all our hearts and we all loved it a lot.
Qallayat bandourah al Lahmeh – Tender beef cubes cooked with tomato ,garlic and onion and pine nuts on top to get an authentic arabic flavor.
Makanek and mushroom fukhara- Meat sausages cooked with mushroom and special levantine ingredients was a good combination with pita bread.
Awani style chicken and beef shawarmas arrived on our table with the whole skewers and a plate of fries and dips.The chicken was tender and cooked perfectly but beef I felt was a bit chewy.We also got to try the meat kebab sandwiches and that also had an Awani touch in it.
No meal is complete without desserts and here too they had a lot of varieties and did not disappoint us.Chocolate muhallabiya and cream kunafa deserves special mention here.
We ended our journey at awani with lot of memories and Thanks to Rasha,Sarah and the whole team of Azur blue for giving me the invitation.