Monday, July 27, 2009

Lebanese Food @ Al-Amar, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur

sweetish Jallab made from dates and laden with pine nuts and raisins

Ever wondered how time goes by so quickly??? I often do, as the day zips by and next thing I know, it is night-time and I'm staring at my very small notebook screen wondering why I didn't manage to organise my time better to blog more often. The weekend seemed to dissapear in a blink probably because I worked on Saturday and cramped all my errands on Sunday. We did manage to squeeze some time to catch this Lebanese outlet in Pavilion and did a walkaround the Curve and Cathay Cineleisure. It's shocking how many places has closed down there - saw the casualties like Empire Cafe, Nanxiang Mantou Dian, Hollys Coffee and etc.

lovely marinated lamb sausages (RM22)

Back to the Lebanese food, a tiny break from the Penang posts (I still have a few more, even though I've cramped them into categories, so bear with me on those faraway but very memorable posts I need to complete). I've been eyeing this place for a very long time - ever since I read a pretty good review in the Edge (one of my regular weekly reads to keep in touch with the financial world). I also heard they're one of the few places in town that offers tartare. While I was eager to give that a try, Splashie Boy said a firm no, when I mentioned the words, "raw meat"!

1. creamy hummus 2. cheese makouche, kinda like a pizza 3. hot fluffy breads, 4. red seems to be the colour of this restaurant

Instead, we settled on a mix of old favourites and new items. Top on the list was hummus (RM16), that creamy chickpea-garlic-olive-oil-lemon-juice concoction I love with hot and fluffy breads served on the side. Tastewise, if you had to compare with
Tajine, the other place we recently ate, there's not much difference in the taste but this version was more creamier and smoother at double the price we paid in Tajine. I guess that is why, we had more breads (4 pieces) here versus the measly one bread we got in Tajine. Refreshments were in the form of the unusual Jallab (RM12) - date juice that was a little sweet but chockfull with pine nuts and raisins sunk to the bottom, which I discovered like hidden treasure.

the aromatic chicken kabsa (RM38)

I also ordered the unusual cheese mankouche (RM14), a Lebanese delicacy that looked like a cheese pizza, which we felt lacked taste and oomph. Maybe we should have ordered the other varieties of thyme and meat instead. However, we struck gold with the Makanek - marinated lamb sausages with Lebanese spices (RM22). Juicy with just the right mix of meat and fat, I loved the tangy taste of the sausages from the marinade that I even ate the shredded cabbage on the side dipped with the sauce. Last but not least, was the chicken kabsa (RM38), which we both shared. I liked the fluffy aromatic tomato rice and the steamed juicy chicken slathered with the tomato sauce given on the side.

Overall, food here is pretty good but prices are on the higher side, especially since it is Pavilion with a plusher atmosphere versus the othertackier looking Middle Eastern joints in town. Service is impeccable too and they also have a nice balcony, you can sit down and drink your sorrows away while looking down on the ever-present traffic at Jalan Bukit Bintang. For more pictures, see my Flickr set.

6th Floor
Pavilion KL
Jalan Bukit Bintang
Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 03-2166 1011

(Pork free. I'm not sure if they're halal, as I did spy alcohol items on the menu including their own "arak", a specialty of theirs. For more details, see
their website which also has the full menu.)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. This review is time sensitive; changes may occur to the place later on that can affect this opinion. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from this place for writing the review.

Tagged with:

Other reviews:

  • Eat Drink KL who was a little more adventurous and had the raw meat;
  • Jean who had the Chicken Chawarma platter for lunch;
  • Luscious Temptations, who ate here when she was back from London.


spunkz said...

haven't tried lamb sausages before. they look tantalising!

J2Kfm said...

i'd be tempted to try the tartare myself, but would probably hold the thought.
haha ....
lest it's fish, raw meat sounds too risky/yucky.

thanks for sharing. i passed by Tajine the other day, there are TWO on the same road! one near McD and another few shops (or next door?) to Tarbush.

boo_licious said...

spunkz - these ones were very nice. Definitely worthy of a visit just for those sausages.

j2kfm - yeah, raw meat sounds just a little dodgy I guess. Didn't know abt Tajine's other outlet that looked more happening also.

Sean said...

the raw lamb was actually ok, but not much fun after a few bites. but anyways, now that everyone knows that i have a craving for human flesh, raw beef/lamb is nothing. =)
i've been meaning to return here to try their other dishes. those lamb sausages look pretty appetizing, and i recall there were some many other intriguing items on the menu. they'll be offering a ramadan buffet next month, so that might be value for money. hopefully, it won't vanish anytime soon like those outlets in the curve...

ai wei said...

another new dining experience!
honestly speaking, when i first saw the sweetish Jallab, it looks like somekind of worm in the glass >___<

Jean said...

I always wanted to try out this restaurant~
Thanks for the post~(I know what to order now!)

boo_licious said...

Sean - shld I avoid you now you have admitted a liking for human flesh??? Yeah, Ramadan round the corner...more bazaars to cover and eat.

ai wei - LOL on the worm in the glass comment.

Julian Si said...

I have to try hard to stay away from Lebanese... Egyptian... and the like here! Lebanon Flower is round the corner from where I am :-)

Glad you enjoyed, cheers fr Abu Dhabi!

J said...

Boo, be careful of Sean. He's practically a budding cannibal! Haha...

The food looks good! :) :)

eiling lim said...

The hummus thingy goes well with the hot bread. It's like cheese dip!

boo_licious said...

Jean - cool stuff! Hope you like it.

Jules - how appropriate, when we were chomping down on that food, Splashie Boy was thinking abt u eating that everyday.

J - LOL, Sean is vying for Hannibal Lecter title in KL izzit?

eiling - yes, very delish stuff esp when they blend it so finely. Yikes, now I feel like some myself since I have yet to eat brekkie.

KY said...

I think the problem with 6th floor at Pavilion is that they have way too many restaurants and that big food court in the basement. That said, the good ones are definitely still staying. :)

New Kid on the Blog said...

when i was there, i saw this place... but not many people trying out.

Unknown said...

I love your blog as it always give good advice on where hubby and I can have our next food adventure. I was craving for some middle eastern cuisine and wasn't sure where to go. Maybe will check this one out... is it better than Tarbush restaurant? Bec I heard so many good things about that place so I was planning to check it out.

Keep on posting!

worldwindows said...

You have done it again. A post that arouse my interest. Those breads are lovely!

thule a.k.a leo said...

it seems like you prefer Middle Eastern food nowadays huh??? Maybe you should make it a monthly thingy.. like Italian for this month and Spanish for the next month and so forth! (^_^)

Tummythoz said...

M still a sceptic towards Mid Eastern fare. Hope to overcome it soon since there's a few new ones near where I stay.

foodbin said...

in these trying times only the best will survive-the lamb sausages looks great!

ling239 said...

this restaurant looks good even when look from the outside... i meant from Jalan Bukit Bintang ~ ^_^

Ciki said...

good one, for the wkd i think! :)

Unknown said...

We just tried this restaurant 2 weeks ago because of the review in the Edge as well. It was dissapointing and far too expensive in terms of portion and quality. RM248 for 4 appetisers,2 mains and 3 drinks for 3 pax. The appetisers were so so only.The cream cheese with garlic and hummus were far too sour. The mixed grill which was RM58 came in a tiny portion that was only mediocre.The meat was dry. If you have had the opportunity to eat authentic middle eastern in other countries, you will know you got a raw deal. Yes, service is impeccable but paying RM80 per head ? You should have been served brilliant food, even if portions were small, no ? I think we got more satisfaction out of Tarbush although i have to admit i have not been back for some time. Time Out KL recommended Sahara Tent as the top arabic restaurant which i have yet to try. How about a review ?

Anonymous said...

I have had food at Sahara Tent, and I absolutely agree! I don't remember eating much Arabic in KL itself, but on travels in UK/US, I must say Sahara Tent is DELISH! I don't remember being particularly hungry looking at the menu, but the minute the food came (orders made by friend who was a regular)I ate most of everything and wanted MORE! Very very satisfying, although the ambiance may be a little misleading, but this is the place where you take friends and family, and everyone will be delightfully surprised and satiated.

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