4 September, 2023
7 Middle Eastern Specialties Served in the Heart of The Rocks

Middle Eastern cuisine, like most cuisines, is known for the infusion of various spices, flavours and styles in everyday dishes.

When we say ‘Middle Eastern’, we describe foods from several countries and regions. A few countries on the list include Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Syria and the ever-so-humble Lebanon.

Middle Eastern food has an all-encompassing variety, contributing to a healthy diet. The Middle Eastern diet is rich in grains, vegetables and fruits and high in omega-3 fatty acids. It also consists of nutritional foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains and fish; healthy amounts of red meat; moderate amounts of dairy products; and fat from extra virgin olive oil.

Intense, aromatic, savoury spices such as cumin, harissa, cardamon, and thyme (usually mixed as za’atar) may create various hues and flavours.

Zahli Restaurant in The Rocks provides an exquisite variety of dishes. Our menu is strategically curated to present the best Middle Eastern foods as specialty dishes. It boasts an extensive range of flavours, colours, tastes, and textures of all ingredients that Good Middle Eastern dishes include.

7 Good Middle Eastern Dishes – Zahli’s Specialties as well!

  1. Falafel: Fried chickpeas with herbs are a great dish with toppings and pita bread. For Middle Easterners, however, the origins of falafel are a matter of patriotic interest.
  2. Tabbouli: Parsley, as you’ve never had it before! Taste buds will dance to the magical combination of bulgur, parsley, mint, onion and tomatoes.
  3. Mutabal: The perfect combination between smokey and sweet, this dish is a textured dip made of smoked chargrilled eggplant mixed with tomatoes, onions, capsicum, garlic, parsley and fresh lemon juice, topped with the perfect burst of flavour—fresh pomegranate seeds.
  4. Vine Leaves: Rolled to perfection, Zahli’s signature filling includes rice, tomato, onion, parsley and fresh lemon juice.
  5. Mansaf: Offering two types, with chicken or lamb, our mansaf is iconic. Perfectly seasoned, our secret spice mix compliments this rice pilaf perfectly, served with yoghurt cucumber for the perfect pairing.
  6. Lemon Garlic Chicken: Garlic, a national Lebanese staple, immerses this dish with flavours that transport you to the homeland. Tossed to perfection in garlic, lemon and parsley dressing, you can enjoy your chargrilled chicken with any side dish or on its own.
  7. Kousa: An authentic Lebanese dish that features stuffed zucchini. It is a popular and traditional dish in Lebanese cuisine, known for its delicious flavours and hearty nature.

Middle Eastern food is diverse, fresh, rich, and vibrant. It is known for its freshest ingredients and unique spices. Learning the history of Middle Eastern food is extremely important in honouring the countries and people who have contributed to this cuisine. Deepening one’s knowledge of the food one eats can have many benefits, such as having a more significant appreciation for food, understanding the ingredients used, and properly cooking Middle Eastern dishes.

  • Global Fusion: Chefs are incorporating international flavours and techniques into traditional dishes, resulting in exciting culinary fusions that reflect the cosmopolitan nature of the region.
  • Gourmet Dining: Fine dining establishments in the region are reimagining traditional dishes, presenting them in sophisticated ways, and elevating the overall dining experience.
  • Culinary Revival: Rediscovering ancient grains, heirloom ingredients, and traditional cooking techniques, focusing on preserving culinary heritage and reviving forgotten recipes.
  • Simple yet Exquisite: Middle Eastern dishes include common ingredients, including olives, olive oil, pitas, tahini, sesame seeds, dates, sumac, chickpeas, mint, rice and parsley, and popular dishes found throughout our menu.
  • Unique Taste Bud Flavours: There are many spices specific to the Middle East that form the identity of many of the dishes, such as thyme (Za’atar), sumac (crushed sour berries), cinnamon, and coriander.
  • Grains: All Middle Eastern food has historically incorporated grains as a significant part of their diet. Wheat, rice, barley and freekeh (a grain made from immature green wheat) are commonly seen in many popular dishes from this region.

Exploring Middle Eastern cuisine, namely Lebanese dining, isn’t simply about savouring delicious dishes; it’s an immersive journey through time and across civilizations.

Zahli Restaurant is a testament to Lebanon’s creativity and enduring hospitality. As we partake in our culinary offerings, you’re not just guests at our table; you’re part of the story – a tale of flavours, people, and time. In a place where food is king, our dishes have become sources of national identity and often an expression of honour and pride.

Book Now – Make a reservation today to get a taste of the best Middle Eastern cuisine!