It was the Golden Fried Chicken Balls that did it. One bite into that moist piece of chicken, lined with halloumi cheese and pistachio nuts and textured perfectly by the othmaleah pastry, and I was ready to ignore everything else.
At that instant, I no longer wanted the Hummus with Lamb or the Jawaneh Motafa (grilled chicken wings with lemon garlic sauce), I just needed to have some more of that special dish that I had never tasted before.
Arabic food is not a common cuisine in Kenya, definitely nowhere close to the Indian, Chinese and Japanese delights.
There was a hint of a restaurant in Upper Hill several years ago, when I was still single, but I’m not sure its there anymore. Not to trash but it doesn’t really compare to the Tambourin restaurant at Villa Rosa Kempinski Nairobi anyway.
It’s a nice way to eat: a long table with little portions of several dishes, enough to interest your taste buds but not for your tummy to send warning signals. The more people eating together the merrier!
The meal is divided into four: Cold Mezze (starters or appetisers), Hot Mezze (where you must train your eyes to find the Chicken Balls), Mains and Dessert.
There’s lots of green in the Cold Mezze so you know your skin is going to look good after that. Most of it is very eloquently prepared. For instance, you have the Muhamarra – Traditional dip made with walnuts, pomegranate molasses, toasted bread crumbs, olive oil, pine nuts and spices, ground to a paste and serve with lettuce leaves. Nothing simple there…
As I was going through the menu, I imagined that Tambourin was an exotic way of spelling the word tambourine, that fancy instrument they play around the fire. It’s not.
According to Wikipedia, it’s a small two-headed drum of Arabic origin, and known to be used quite widely in operas by French composers as far back as the 18th century. So wrap your head around that as you enjoy some mezze(s) and Umm Ali (Milky bread pudding with mixed nuts and raisins).
Have a good evening. And take time to enjoy your food. That is one simple pleasure that can bring about so much joy…