In a country of food lovers, there are few restaurants that have stood the test of time. With everlasting quality and a warm welcome from the staff, Burj Al Hamam is known for its great food and greater location. Overlooking the Arabian Gulf, the location is flawless, the décor is incredible – mimicking the colors of nature – the seats are sky blue with hints of the sea all around. The tantalizing aromas of the authentically prepared Lebanese cuisine take over your senses. Then you spot the array of colors from the fruit bowls that are waiting patiently for you to end your meal before they grace your table. Burj Al Hamam is full of natural light and breezy space, while the welcoming colors and smells are enough to kick-start your appetite – and trust us, you’ll need it.
When presented with the menu, make sure to pick and choose as generously as you can. This cuisine is made for sharing and the more you order, the merrier, so never skip the appetizers and salads. While with most places you’d pass on the salads to save room for the main dishes, Burj Al Hamam’s salads and starters are created to compliment your meal and give your bouche a little amuse. We started off with classics like hummus and mutabal (eggplant and spice dip) with some fresh baked bread – a combination you can never go wrong with. Next, we were presented with their famous Kebbe Nayeh – veal tartar with cracked wheat and seven spices with a side of fresh onion. Now the trick to tackling this delicate dish is to take a small piece and place it in your bread, sprinkle with the spices to your taste, add a slice of onion and a mint leaf, then enjoy – thank us later. The explosion of flavor is incredible and will keep you wanting more.
After all that meat and delicious dip, we were left craving a little green – we blame the mint leaf for leaving us with a taste of leafy goodness – and the salad we got was spot on. The Burj Al Hamam Salad was incredibly light and refreshing. With fresh rocca at the base, this salad was dressed in a beautifully constructed lemon house vinaigrette and topped with sliced dry figs, haloum cheese rolled in black sesame, and chopped walnuts. This fresh take on a rocca salad was the perfect break we needed before our main dishes arrived. If you’re a Burj Al Hamam regular, you know that they have a dish-of-the-day system in place for every day of the week. Lucky for us, we were there on a Monday, which meant the day’s dish was Daoud Basha. An absolute classic, this dish consists of bite-sized meatballs in a flavorful tomato sauce with a side of rice and vermicelli. Perfectly balanced, this dish was reminiscent of our childhoods and our grandmothers’ cooking.
For the pièce-de-résistance, the dish that is quintessentially Lebanese, we were brought the grilled meats. Thankfully, the breadbasket was endless. Basket upon basket of fresh baked bread came to the table as per our request to help with our selection from the grill. The dish we consumed ever so happily was the Mixed Grill. A selection of veal – cubed and grilled to perfection – succulent shish taouk, juicy kofta, and the delectable chicken kabab were devoured in a matter of minutes. Served with a side of garlic dip, this dish was the perfect end to our savory start before we ventured into desserts – yes, we obviously had room for those.
Desserts, what can one say about those that hasn’t already been said in poetry? Arabic sweets are always the perfect end to any meal – move over trifle, the baklavas are in town! From the flawless house kunafa filled with beautiful cream or sweetened cheese, to the golden filo pastry filled with crushed nuts – or cream – and drizzled with syrup, nothing can possibly compare. What we were presented with was a genuinely essential Lebanese dessert simply known as Halawat El Jeben. This is a carefully flattened sweetened cheese that’s then filled with fresh cream and rolled into a perfect cylindrical shape. Topped with ground pistachios and delicate lemon blossoms, this dessert is then covered in the perfect amount of syrup. Nothing about it is overpowering. An impeccably balanced end, to a gloriously delicious meal – we were absolutely satisfied.
But your experience doesn’t end there. Just as you throw in the napkin and swear that you can’t have another bite of anything, the fruit basket appears. With bananas, apples, oranges, grapes, and all the seasonal fruit you can image – this display of color and choice leaves you no option but to jump in. Order a coffee and possibly a shisha and relax as you enjoy the tower of fruit on your table. Once you feel like you’re ready to nibble on something, reach for a piece of fruit and enjoy it – you’ll feel lighter with every bite.
Burj Al Hamam is located on the Gulf Road near Green Island. For reservations and inquiries, you can call 2252 9095 or 2251 7030 or visit their website on www.burjalhamam.com.kw.