Explore some Turkish and Armenian delicacies at the all new restaurant Levant in Hyderabad
If exploring an unusual cuisine has been on your mind, then we suggest you drop by at Levant. Located in Banjara Hills, it is owned by city-based entrepreneur Imtiaz Ali, who claims that this is one of the only places in the city which offers ‘Levantine’ cuisine — or largely Eastern Mediterranean. In here you can find, delicacies from Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon. However, what helped us get a better idea of the origin of the dishes was a giant map of the Latin Levant.
As we find a quiet corner to enjoy the meal, we are welcomed with a shot glass of Cucumber Soup which was just the right amount of creamy texture. In the next few quick seconds, the Lebanon Salad arrives on the table. This scrumptious mix of fresh green apple, lettuce and beetroot and apple with a chef’s special dressing is comforting and helps us beat the sweltering heat. Eager to try on the Turkish starters, we ask for the Hommos Bil Dajaj. We suggest you read the descriptions of the platter before you order or ask the waiters for the explanations because the names of the dishes might need some deciphering. Hommos Bil Dajaj, is barbequed chicken served on a bed of chickpea hummus and Turkish bread, which is ideal for one person. We like the dense hummus with juicy chicken. But the Tajien Laham, which arrives post that, was stir-fried lamb with veggies and sauce made in-house. That’s even better.
Noticing that there’s some time for the next dish to come, we walk up to the head chef, Mohammed Faleh Booreny, from Jordan who curated the menu. “Make sure you try the Zarb,” he says, adding that he makes sure to get the rice from Egypt. Zarb is made in a coal oven and slow cooked for four hours. The way the Zarb is brought to the table, in flames, is rather dramatic! The fragrant rice tossed in spices and well-cooked mutton reminded us of mandi. When their signature kebab platter, Levant Mashawi Mushakal, arrives, we are astounded by its size. It contained eight kebab variants, including lamb (laham in Arabic) and dajaj (chicken), with which we wrapped up our meal.
Rs 1,000 onwards.
— Paulami Sen