Mezze gives you affordable West-Asian fare in a mall

S hoppers at Oasis Mall looking to fortify themselves now have the option of trying out Middle-Eastern food at Mezze at the Polynation Food Court.

The idea behind Mezze is to bring Middle-Eastern food within the reach of the common man by making it affordable. We started with the cold mezze consisting of hummus, khubus (similar to roti), baba ghanoush (an Arabic eggplant dish mashed and mixed with seasoning) and badinjan (a Lebanese eggplant salad). The khubus was soft and went well with the hummus, which was nice and creamy. Not being great fans of brinjal, we approached the badinjan with some trepidation. However, it was flavourful, with the taste of lime and chilli being predominant. However, the baba ghanoush lacked seasoning.

Cheesy samosas anyone?

Next we had the snacks platter mix consisting of fatayar-sabanak (Lebanese spinach samosa), gibneh sambousek (Lebanese mozzarella and feta cheese samosa), kebbeh (a deep fried dish with minced meat stuffing), falafel (deep fried patties made with chickpeas and fava beans) and lamb sambousek.

The falafel is definitely worth a try. Hot and crispy, it was similar in taste to the masala vada. It's the perfect snack and at Rs. 59 for 10 pieces it's worth it.

We also liked the fatayar-sabanak. The two types of cheese worked well together making the gibneh sambousek another dish worth a try.

However, the lamb sambousek and kebbeh were rather disappointing as the crust was hard and the minced meat stuffing was on the dry side.

We then came to the best part of the meal. The dejaj batata au kushbara sauce (grilled chicken with potato and garlic coriander sauce) was a wholesome gravy. Absolutely delicious.

The dejaj shawarma roll was also a hit. The roll was soft and the chicken pieces in the roll were tender.

We rounded off the meal with some yummy baklava, a rich flaky layered pastry.

Mezze is a good place to try out Middle-Eastern food but be warned: don't expect anything in the nature of atmosphere. Being a mall, a large number of people is a given, resulting in continuous chatter.

It is essentially a place to catch a quick bite; not somewhere to linger over your food. Call 98809-52964.

APARNA NARRAIN

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