Friday, November 11, 2016

Middle Eastern Delight at Al Nafoura Le Meridien Jakarta

Al Nafoura, a beautiful dining place with Middle Eastern ambiance at Le Meridien Jakarta is interesting. The Mediterranean gate and interior joined the dim lighting and warm welcome. 

Hello, this is Fiona. I'm joining my friend Yenny ( and Arditya Chandra Putra (Marketing Communication Manager) of Le Meridien at Al Nafoura. 

Terracotta brown flooring and stone walls contrast the cushions and rugs. Then my attention turn to the table. Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food in general doesn't differ much from those we're familiar with growing up. The secret, Chef Ahmad Jamil said, is using right balance of natural spices and ingredients. While spices like Saffron and Zaatar are still imported from Middle Eastern countries, other ingredients including eggplant, chickpeas and parsley are of local produce.

Al Nafoura Cold Mezzeh Tasting Platter
Hommous, warak enab, moutable, tabbouleh, kabis wa zatoun, Turkish labneh, loubia bil zeit and fataushe sala

The three favorite dishes are Hommos (pure chick peas with sesame paste), Tabouleh (flat parsley salad with tomato and cracked wheat), and Fatoushe Salata (vegetable salad with toasted pita bread, pomegranate syrup and olive oil dressing). This one looks like vegetable stick and dipping sauce. 

You eat them with pita bread, opened it and filled it with everything. It fits with everything. Can be eaten as pickles or in-between food. 

Shish Tawouk
Ma Akoulate Bahrieh Ma Hara
Haruf Ouzi 

Main Course
Shish Tawouk
Charcoal grilled marinated chicken skewer served with garlic sauce and your choice of oriental rice or homemade fried potato sticks.

Oriental rice is tasty, thanks to the abundance of spices. Just eating the rice is enough for me but the chicken is cooked to perfection. Juicy and not dry.

Ma Akoulate Bahrieh Ma Hara
Medley of baby lobster, jumbo prawn, green mussels, white clams and batik clams, in spicy creamy harissa sauce and fresh coriander served with vermicelli rice

It's spicy! Well, to my standard that is. But the lobster prawns and mussels are well-marinated. So this is a well-rounded dish, especially to those spicy food fans.

Haruf Ouzi
Braised lamb shank ouzi style with oriental rice, assorted nuts and yogurt cucumber mint sauce

Okay, this has to be the best one, yoghurt and mint sauce are the characteristics of this dish. Add tender well-marinated lamb shack and rice to the mix. I have to prevent myself from drooling while writing this. Let's come back for this! It's the bomb! No wonder Chef Ahmad recommends this as a favorite. 

Helwa Al Nafoura
Selection of Middle Eastern desserts
Halawa Beirut, saffron panna cotta, tiramisu with Arabic coffee and baklava

Middle Eastern desserts are often sweet. With "Halawa" literally means "Sweet" in Arabic, we can expect sugar rush coming from the long plate of desserts seved at Al Nafoura. The Italian classic Panna Cotta get a Middle Eastern touch with saffron, but is a bit too sweet for me. Lebanese dessert Baklava is filled with date and pistachio, served with honey, strawberry sauce and fresh mint. Both fillings are awesome that I can't pick side. It's crunchy, sweet on the inside and not overwhelmed with flour like many others I encountered along my culinary journey. Their Tiramisu is the best. Enough said, just have to try their Tiramisu. Don't forget to stop by their Turkish ice cream stall.

Step outdoor and spend some sisha time with your best friends at the terrace. Arabic Coffee is also available. This part of the restaurant is really beautiful, with tent like you're in middle east, but without the dry and hot weather. The air conditioner really save the day. Al Nafoura also has Middle Eastern Barbeque on Saturday Night featuring prawns, crab and fish as well as selections of chicken, lamb and beef. Made-to-order live cooking station and Belly Dancing performances add to the entertainment as you dine.

Al Nafoura
Le Meridien Jakarta
Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 18 - 20, Jakarta Pusat,
(021) 2513131
Opening hours:
Monday to Friday : Lunch 11.30 to 14.30
Dinner 18.30 to 22.30
Saturday to Sunday : Dinner Only 18.30 to 22.30
Belly Dancing Performance : Friday - Saturday 20.30 and 21.30

No comments:

Post a Comment