Al-Amar Lebanese Cuisine @ Sunway Putra Mall Kuala Lumpur
This entry is part of my birthday trip to KL on February 24th and 25th, 2016.
Last month (February), I decided to do a birthday getaway trip or some sort while my friend is back in KL and before she goes back to UK. I thought it would be a great idea to have fun and at the same time review some food in KL for this blog. For most of the trip, it didn’t go well at all. I had such a terrible time but let’s not talk about that.
Coincidentally, a few days before my trip, I received a media/blogger invitation for a food tasting session at Al-Amar Lebanese Cuisine’s new outlet in Sunway Putra Mall on the day that I’d be in KL so I thought it was a perfect timing! I decided to accept the invitation and hoped everything would go according to plan.
I wanted to write this sooner but I’ve just been swamped with so many things and so much work. The weather has been crazy hot lately too, I couldn’t focus on anything! So I apologize for this super late entry.
I reached KL in the morning and did some other stuff to kill time. If I’m not lazy, I’ll write that part because boy, I had a crappy time. Then my friend and I walked around for a bit and around 6 pm, we took the train from Midvalley to Sunway Putra Mall.
It was my first time there and to be honest, I never knew the existence of that mall even though it’s the opposite of PWTC and I’ve been there a few times before. Until I received the invitation for this, I haven’t even heard of Sunway Putra Mall.
Surprisingly, we reached Sunway Putra Mall earlier than expected. We had about an hour to kill. So we just walked around for a bit and just sat in front of the restaurant for half an hour. The restaurant is located on level 2, nearby an escalator so it’s not easily missed.
At first, I thought we arrived too early because the restaurant was empty. For a moment I thought there was no food tasting session and that it has been cancelled or something. But after asking someone, turns out, there’s actually another room hidden from view where some of the guests have already arrived and waiting.
The front part of the restaurant is like a typical restaurant. It’s not that big but spacious enough for diners. The main color theme is red as you can see in the picture and it has a cozy and lovely setting with middle eastern vibe (obviously).
I just love the lamps and here you can see they also have shisha. But mind you, this is not the typical cheap shisha you see at the mamak stall. A flavor will cost you RM45.90. I’m curious how different they taste compared to the cheap shisha that people always smoke at mamak stall.
I like the wall decorations. There are actually mirrors in the shape of common middle eastern windows so they actually look like windows there, until you get too close and realize they’re just mirrors with your reflection.
This connects the main dining area with the bigger, hidden dining area with KL city view. You won’t see this from the outside and you won’t even know of its existence unless you walk in. I thought that’s very interesting since at first glance, it looks like a small restaurant.
As you walk towards the room, you could see the chefs busy at work, preparing all the dishes for us. I was really excited and getting hungry when I saw what they’ve prepared for us.
When I arrived, I was surprised that people were already waiting. You could see the big window behind overlooking the KL city. It’s a very lovely view at night, very picturesque and makes your dining experience a little better and more exclusive with a touch of class added.
I also didn’t expect such a big media crowd attending the preview either. It’s a very different atmosphere compared to Ipoh’s food tasting sessions.
We were served this drink. One thing is that, the waiter serving us served the drink to others but ignored me for a while. I have no idea why, it’s as if I was invisible. He just stood a step away from me for a while like in some kind of a trance before snapping back to reality and giving me my drink. Then again hours later when I requested for a refill, another waiter completely forgot until I had to ask again. What’s up with people ignoring me that night? Anyways.
I actually don’t know what type of drink this is. At first I thought it’s coke but it’s not. It’s a light, non-carbonated drink with a strange taste and some ingredients at the bottom (they mentioned this to me but I forgot what). I liked it though and it’s thirst-quenching.
COLD MEZZE (cold appetizers)
Hommos – RM17.55
Mashed chickpeas mixed with sesame seed paste and a dash of lemon juice, topped with olive oil.
I had no idea this is hummus at first. The presentation is so strangely captivating and perfectly shaped. Hummus is one of the popular and well-known middle eastern foods/cold mezze. I’m used to ‘hummus’ instead of ‘hommos’ so I’m going to use the spelling I’m used to.
They served us these freshly baked breads together with the hummus.
The bread is light and you dip it into the hummus. The texture of the hummus is very smooth and creamy. According to the chef, it is prepared step by step because if you put one ingredient before another, you can’t get that creamy texture.
Hummus is a cold mezze, served cold.
Warak Enab – RM18.45
Vine leaves stuffed with rice and spices and marinated in a lemon olive oil sauce
This is not for everyone. It’s extremely sour, like sucking on toxic waste or sour warheads candy. Despite the warning I got from those around me (about how sour it is and will end up not liking it), I decided to try it anyway and hey, it’s actually not that bad. I like it. Yes, it’s very sour. I could only taste the lemon and leaf, but I like it.
I guess it’s an acquired taste. Definitely not for everyone. It’s a cold mezze so it’s served cold.
Fattouch – RM22.95
A refreshing mixture of tomato, cucumber, lettuce, radish, mint leaves and rockets served with special sumac dressing.
It’s just a bowl of mixed vegetables but what’s special about it is the sumac dressing, which gives it a unique flavor. It’s served with olive oil, lemon juice which explains that sour-ish taste, salt and the sumac powder (the red powder) then topped with fried Lebanese bread.
HOT MEZZE (hot appetizers)
Falafel – RM20.25
Fried beans and chickpea paste served with tahina sauce and condiments.
The concept is boiled chickpeas and fava beans with some other ingredients mashed/blended together then fried and served with tahina sauce. I find this slightly on the dry side maybe because it took me such a long time to finally eat my food that it became dry from the long exposure. I didn’t dip much of it into the tahina sauce either, which might explain why it was dry for me. It’s hard when you have to share the food with other people.
Batata Harra – RM19.35
Fried potato cubes topped with chili powder, garlic, coriander and lemon.
It’s a potato dish and I love potatoes and it’s slightly spicy. Batata Harra is also served as hot mezze.
Mix Grill – RM62.90
A platter consisting of one lahem mechwe skewer, one chich taouk skewer and two kafta skewers.
This, along with the grouper fish are the only 2 dishes with meat. The rest are all vegetarian dishes. Mix grill dish contains a mix of one lahem mechwe (grilled marinated beef tenderloin skewer), one chich tawouk (grilled marinated chicken breast skewer) and two kafta (grilled minced lamb meat skewer).
This is my most favorite! The meats were perfectly grilled, succulent and tasted really nice with the dipping sauce. The unique thing about the food here is that the ‘secret’ spices used couldn’t be found here, imported from Lebanon. I liked lamb the best. Funny thing is, I used to hate lamb.
Siyyediyeh – RM44.90
Roasted grouper fish served with tragrant basmati rice cooked with fried onions and spices, served with special sauce.
A delicious dish but difficult to cook! According to the chef, the fish will be boiled first to get the fish stock and the stock will be used to cook the basmati rice to get the same fish flavor. To get the color, you have to boil the fried onions together with the rice.
The grouper fish can also be served together steamed or baked.
The Siyyediyeh is served with a special sauce. Kind of look like BBQ sauce (but it’s not). This dish is also one of my favorites.
Kabbseh Rice – RM13.05
Fragrant basmati rice cooked with tomato and spices.
I used to cook my own version of Jambalaya, so this reminds me of that and I miss it!
The jambalaya I used to make always had a distinct tomato flavor so that’s why I absolutely love this Kabbseh rice! It has a strong tomato flavor but not too overwhelming, and it goes well together with the mix grill or anything else. My friend prefer Siyyediyeh more, but I prefer Kabbseh rice more.
Regular Fruit Platter – RM21.15
Platter consisting of watermelon, honeydew, apples, dragonfruit, kiwi and grapes.
There’s nothing extraordinary about this dish haha. It’s just a plate of refreshing fruits.
Baklawa – RM12.15
Traditional Labenese sweets/pastry with nuts and honey.
This is what I’ve been waiting for! My ultimate favorite of all – Baklava! I’ve always loved baklava. It is one of my favorite desserts. They served it in small cubes and I thought it wouldn’t be satisfying. Trust me, one small cube is enough because it’s very rich in flavor and sweetness. Loads of nuts and honey.
From what I can see, the style is a little bit different than the ones I’ve had before. It seems that they put the pastry layers at the bottom, dump all the nuts in, then top with a few more pastry layers then douse with honey. It’s still awesome, but I prefer the more complicated baklava – where they alternate pastry layers and nuts. They do give a slightly different texture but still has the same sweet, nutty flavor.
It’s very sweet and fulfilling, so a small bite of this is sufficient and satisfying enough.
And this is the view of all the foods that were served to us minus the desserts. It looks like a lot but it’s actually not when you have to share with around 4 other people.
They introduced the executive chef – Chef Maroun, who is also the executive chef for all other outlets.
Al-Amar Lebanese Cuisine has 2 other outlets – the main one in Pavillion and Al-Amar Express in front of Fahrenheit 88. They also have Al-Amar catering services.
Chef Maroun then visited each group to explain all about the dishes that were served to us and how they were made.
Before we left, we took a group photo. Isn’t this nice? 🙂
Overall, it was a great experience. The foods were sinfully delicious and better than my expectation. Thank you very much for inviting me to experience Al-Amar Lebanese Cuisine. It’s quite rare that I’m able to accept any invitations outside of Ipoh so it has been a lovely dining experience plus the opportunity to taste Middle Eastern/Lebanese foods. Also, thank you to my friend for being my photographer while in KL.
Note: This is an exclusive food tasting & specialty dish preview. Al-Amar Lebanese Cuisine’s food is halal but they do serve alcohol in the premise.
AL-AMAR LEBANESE CUISINE
Lot 2-27, Sunway Putra Mall,
100, Jalan Putra,
Tel: 03-4051 2533