Eating Out

Mediterranean marvel

June 13 - 19, 2018

Gulf Weekly Stan Szecowka
By Stan Szecowka

Gulf Weekly Mediterranean marvel

Marvellous Mawasim Restaurant & Lounge showcased its Ramadan buffet offering to members of the media last weekend with a tantalising tease of the captivating cuisine it offers on its unique menu of Mediterranean fare touched by Arabic excellence.

As reported in GulfWeekly, rather than wait until after the holy month, the outlet recently enjoyed its soft opening joining the growing Galleria Mall food scene in Zinj.

This bright and breezy new restaurant has opened in a popular dining out strip to much excitement as was evident by the large number of families enjoying the Iftar fare on Thursday evening.

There was everything you would expect on this seasonal banquet plus a little more thanks to celebrated Jordanian Chef Maher Ramzi, who commands a strong following after spellbinding work over a five-year spell at popular dining destinations in Bahrain.

Knowing his roots, it will probably come as little surprise that my standout dish was his take on Mansaf, a traditional Arab dish regarded as the national dish of Jordan, and can also be found in Palestine, Iraq, Southern Syria and Saudi Arabia.

It is a dish made of bone in lamb chunks (they have to be big as they will cook for a long time), slowly cooked in a goat yogurt sauce, served on a bed of rice, and topped with toasted pine-nuts and almonds.

For the uninitiated, it comes as quite a surprise when you pull aside the bread lid from the dish to discover the largest chunks of lamb.

According to my well versed friends jameed, hard dry laban made from ewe or goat’s milk, and the lamb are the most essential ingredients, and quite frankly Jordanians take their Mansaf seriously, don’t you ever try to use chicken or beef!

A cascade of spices such as cinnamon, coriander, cloves, and cardamon are used and Chef Maher was keeping tight-lipped out his own recipe, however, the lamb was marinated overnight and simply melted in the mouth.

I’m told the dish is meant to be eaten communally, as part of a social event, so joining friends breaking their fast was the perfect combination. When you are invited into a Jordanian house and you are served mansaf it is considered the ultimate sign of generosity and hospitality and being invited to Mawasim Restaurant & Lounge and being served by Chef Maher and his team helped prove the point.

I’m looking forward to reviewing this restaurant again in the near future and putting some of its signature dishes to the taste test.

As I recently reported, this bright and breezy new restaurant has opened in a popular dining out strip to help capture those balmy days enjoyed holidaying around the Mediterranean Sea.

To give Iftar diners a pizza of the action (Editor’s note: sorry folks, couldn’t resist it!) alongside the buffet, the waiting staff continually delivered slices of Italian excellence to the tables.

These are pizzas like none other I’ve seen in both shape and flavour. Take Tikka Bahraini – what a great name – for example, thinly-sliced juicy beef marinated in aromatic home-made herbs and spices and sliced onions, the Pizza Bruschetta, made with homemade tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, herbed olives, diced tomatoes, feta cheese, rocca leaves finished with parmesan cheese and balsamic glaze, and the Pizza Ristica, chargrilled aubergine, mushrooms, courgette, pesto sauce and crumbled feta cheese.

These are awe-inspiring triumphs delivered on a wooden pallet fresh from the oven and so tasty, with a clever combination of crunch and sweet savoury softness.

The restaurant can seat more than 200 guests on two floors. The restaurant is open from 6pm to 2am during the holy month and the big screen TVs upstairs are sure to score with football fans over the coming weeks.

Enjoy The Grand Mediterranean Iftar & Ghabga Buffet priced BD8.500, children - aged up to 10 - BD5.500, at Mawasim Restaurant & Lounge with Iftar: Sunset to 8.30pm and Ghabga: 8.30pm to 1am.

For reservations call 77232377 or 35911726.


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