Monday, October 24, 2011

A Middle Eastern Experience at Anar

It's during busy work weeks that this cow reminiscence relaxing Saturdays such as this one- an enjoyable walk from Vivocity via the new boardwalk to Sentosa....not for sand, sun and sea but for lunch. Moohehe.

Lunch destination was Anar- a fairly new Middle Eastern restaurant.

After the walk, a refreshing drink tasted lagi refreshing! The Anar Guru ($20; above left) looked feminine and delicate but make no mistake. This drink made with fresh promegranite juice shaken with vodka and topped up with Moet & Chandon Brut Champagne had a good alcoholic base that followed the initial sweetness. I like!

For something non-alcoholic, try the Jasmine Belle ($12; above right). Lime and honey syrup, cranberry juice and chilled jasmine tea. It tasted soothing and I think one would kill in the dessert for a sip of this.

But just before mental images of camels crossing sand dunes, wisen old man puffing shisha and the many intricately-weaved carpets (some say magic!) float into moo head, I was brought back to lunch with the arrival of breads.

Served complimentary to all diners, these flat breads were studded with sesame seeds and served from a traditional oven to our table faster than you can say Ali Baba. The wait staff even offered to replenish our bread basket with fresh, warm hot bread. A platter of pickles, vegetables and cheese were accompanions.

In a Middle Eastern restaurant, what's bread without dips?

The Hummus with Minced Beef ($14) was pure comfort with pureed chickpeas, sesame seed paste, garlic, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and grilled minced beef. Doesn't it make you wanna moo already? ;)

I also enjoyed the Moutabbal ($12) for its deeply smokey flavour. EGGPLANT. Yums.

For extra oomph, the Mohammarah ($12) hits the spot. A smooth dip of walnut, pomergranite, red peppers and spices, this was tangy and nutty. Apparently, the Middle Easterners consider this to be spicy but I'm sure local palates will be puzzled. Spicy no enough!

Mooo-ving on to some salad, the Dejaj Salad ($14) offered plenty. Think crunchy cucumbers, fleshy tomatoes, cubes of creamy, salty feta cheese and roasted chicken...all tossed in thyme, lemon juice and EVOO. For some, this might even be a meal on its own. But then it would mark the end of this blog post.

For your sake...and the sake of moo four stomachs, this cow pressed on. Moohahaha.

The Shish Taouk ($32; above in front) was a beautiful piece of chicken breast marinated in yoghurt, garlic and tomato puree before being grilled over charcoal. Apparently a Babylonion recipe. The meat was succulent and reminded me of the Indians also using yoghurt as a natural tenderiser in tandoori chicken.

In the background, was a most delicious Lamb Kubideh Kebab ($38). Minced lamb that wasn't too gamey and well flavoured with spices and (I'm guessing) lots of onions (sweet!).

The lamb was served with a Persian Saffron Rice. The saffron was pretty subtle but I love the long, fluffy grains! Could imagine this in briyani. Aiyoh, what's with me and Indian food? Must be the effects of Deepavali drawing near. LOL.

The next dish, Riz Be Lahem Ala Djaij ($35), was my least favourite. The spiced rice and yoghurt were nice but the chicken was just too dry.

On to desserts! Cos there's still Ben & Jerry's ChunkFest to go to...moohehe.

The Mohalabieh ($12) would be perfect for those who like their desserts full-bodied. This was creamy, milky and intensely perfumed with rose water and orange blossom. Personally, it was a tad too rich for me.

What I preferred was the Baklawa ($12)- a small parcel that was just nicely sweetened and had the lovely combined fragrance of ghee and pastry. Biting into it revealed crunchy, flaky layers of texture. This and a cup of coffee/tea would be great!

Anyone notice a certain element being repeated in quite a number of dishes? Yes, pomegranite. Anar is the Persian word for pomegranate.

Special mention also has to go to the interior design. Materials such as tiles, carpets, curtains and lamps were imported from different countries in the Middle East.

Check out their semi-private dining room! Pretty opulent feel with the high, beautiful stained glass ceiling and huge chandelier that a man can purportedly walk across. I can imagine the knights of the round table already.

Thanks to Mindy and Kelvin of Touch Communications and Toufik of Anar for the kind invitation and for hosting this hungry cow.

Resorts World Sentosa,
26 Sentosa Gateway
Tel: 6884 6989
Opens: 12noon-3pm; 6pm-10pm

Chew On This:

Or should I say Sip On This....They've got Lebanese wine on the menu! I haven't got to try this but I remember RecentRunes raving about this one.


peacefulhugs said...

omg!! Ive been dyin to try this place... but it looked so atas, i was abit intimidated. lol

peacefulhugs said...

oh and btw, u need to try this
Place:Piedra Negra
Address: 241 Beach Road Singapore

Kenny Mah said...

One only wishes that this is a moo-vable feast so one may enjoy this in Kuala Lumpur, even. ;)

Unknown said...

love middle eastern food, this is a "must try" for sure ...

thanks for sharing!

The Hungry Cow said...

peacefulhugs: It is done up really nicely. Almost has this Middle Eastern opulent feel. Go during lunch when it's bright and more relaxed. What's Piedra Negra? Sounds intriguing.

Kenny: Maybe someone will hear your desire and Anar will moo-gically spring up in KL. ;)

Leone: Hello! Thanks and hope you will enjoy the experience if you do visit them.