Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Habibi Restaurant

For some odd reasons, I am having craving for Middle Eastern cuisine recently. This time the destination was Habibi Restaurant @ SoHo. (My camera lens got all fogged up so the front door picture was not so clear. I will try to go take another one later. ) The decor was very traditional while the ambiance was dim and soft with some Middle Eastern music was playing in the background. During the weekend, there are dance shows but i could not wait that long to have some middle eastern food. Usually at this point of the review, I would go on and talk about the food items and etc, but this time I can't control myself but to talk about the service. First of all, services was not bad or un-caring, it was the fact that during the 3 hours we were there, different staff came over and asked us "is this dish finished?" for more than 6 times. Basically whenever we put down our forks and knifes to talk or to wipe our mouths, someone would come over and ask that question even though there were plenty of food left in the dish and have already informed them repeatedly that we were still eating. If there were a long line up then I would understand the rush but that was not the case. I can only say that the staff were over-caring and over attentive to the point of being a little annoying and unprofessional.

(1) Hummos Harissa
(chickpeas!!) A must order for those into chickpeas. It was tasty and rich in flavor with various herbs flavors which I am still learning to identify. It came with three different kinds pita breads and I was so tempted to order extra pita bread to make sure none of the hummos would go to waste! Due to my love for hummos, my review on this would be biased for sure so I will leave it at that and let you try it for yourself. If you only want hummos, you can try getting that at Habibi Cafe next door which is more of a casual hangout joint.

(2) Wara Inab
(Vine leaves stuffed with an aromatic mix of rice) It looked very different from the pictures on the menu but isn't that true for many things as well? The tomato sauce was very good but the actual item was rather interesting. Somehow I felt that I was eating stuffed lotus leaves and not really knowing what was inside. It was very "herb-y" with strong herb flavors but I was not sure where were the aromatic mix of rice. I simply could not identify or feel with my tongue the texture of rice within the stuffed vine leaves. There were something slightly crisp inside but due to the dim environment, I really could not tell.

(3) Falafel
(Crispy fried cakes of broad beans and fresh herbs) This dish I liked very much. It was rich in herb flavors and the sauce that came with it was a terrific match. Apparently this is a very common and popular dish. It can be prepared in different shapes such as sphere like a ball or in a checker shape. I liked it and certainly a thumbs up in my opinion.

(4) Firahk Zaatar
(marinated whole chicken marinated and grilled) When it was served, I asked myself: where was the rest of the WHOLE chicken? The menu did not mention anything about the chicken being a baby chicken or another other words that translate to "small" or "tiny", but the serving does not look like a WHOLE chicken even when de-boned. Anyhow, it tasted just like any other roasted chicken you find at other places in my opinion, the only difference was that it came in with some extra herbs on the surface. It was a bit dry as well. A disappointing dish indeed. Got tricked by the little cute "Chef's Hat" printed beside the name of the dish on the menu.

(5) Samak Sayadiyi
(Fresh Sea bass with tomato, bell peppers and red onion) My friend insisted to order this seafood dish and I was glad that she did because it was very tasty indeed. The tomato sauce was again very good and the fish itself well prepared. I tasted even better when you eat the fish together with spoonful of tomato sauce.

(6) Kosa Mahshiya
(Zucchini stuffed with seasoned minced beef and pine nuts in yogurt sauce) One of the best dishes we ordered. The yogurt sauce was great and not only did I mixed them with the rice, I basically cleared all the sauce like drinking soup. The flavors of the minced beef and pine nuts went extremely well with the zucchini. The same applied to the texture as well because the ingredients were all stuffed inside and one can enjoy the combined textures in every single bite. Did I mention the yogurt sauce was great !? Thumbs up !

  • decor and ambiance
  • Kosa Mahshiya - Wonderful sauce and stuffed zucchini
  • Falafel
  • Slightly annoying service (frequent and repeated asking of whether we were done)
  • Firahk Zaatar - too dry and tasted just like any roasted chicken you can find everywhere.
Avg Spending: HKD 200 - 300 per person

Habibi Restaurant
Shop B & D, G/F,
112-114 Wellington Street, Central
Tel: 2544 6198


Melissa said...

I had soooo much hummus when I visited home... I miss it a lot!!! YUMMY!!!! Too bad I can't bring that back as a souvenir for you... but it is easy to make no?

Jason said...

yeah, I think it is easy to make but I am too lazy to make ... argh, you should at least TRY to bring back some ... haha

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John said...

Now I am also craving Middle Eastern food; thanks to you. Besides; we also have a Habibi restaurant here but it sells Asian food. In fact; I was just looking to Hire Someone To Take Online Class on my behalf (evening timing) so that I can go to this restaurant for dinner with my family.

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Vicky White said...

Kosa Mahshiya. A culinary delight that captivates the senses. I adore the rich flavors and aromatic blend of this dish. Its exquisite taste and traditional charm make it a cherished culinary experience that resonates with my palate.
love your post. Being a food hunter.
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Sanam Naz said...

The savory delight of falafel, a Middle Eastern culinary masterpiece. I never ever forget this taste. These golden-brown, crispy balls, crafted from ground chickpeas and spices, offer a burst of flavors. Enjoy them in wraps, salads, or on their own, for a truly satisfying and delicious experience. Best Root canal Treatment

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