The newest addition to the Menus Complex is an old favorite in the Middle East, Zaatar w Zeit. The franchise is best known for its mankousheh, and loved for its variety of Lebanese food. Now, with a new location, they have given the restaurant a fresh look, and taken their motto “taste the simple pleasures” a step further.
Whether you are headed in for a great lunch of pizza and wraps, a simple snack of zaatar mankousheh, or just a coffee, the new venue and menu selections at Zaatar w Zeit has something for everyone.
The sunlit dining area is equipped with booths and tables for intimate or large parties. You can transform yourself to another time in Lebanon through the wall to ceiling photographs of scenes from Hamrah. Or simply enjoy a dessert with the ocean breeze in the large outside eating area.
Whatever your reasons to check out the new spot on Coastal Road, you will undoubtedly notice the clean, organic feel. Wooden tables, a chalkboard menu and wooden barstools at the main counter give the feeling that you aren’t just in another restaurant in Kuwait, but that you are about to get “fresh wholesome goodness in every bite,” as promised.
We sat down with Operations Manager Tony El Haddad to talk about the new menu.
“I’ve been with Zaatar w Zeit for 10 years now, it’s a part of me and I feel like it’s my own brand,” he said.
El-Haddad is hard to pin down, as he moves from branch to branch to ensure that every ingredient is properly prepared, and the taste is never compromised. As the company grew, he says, times change as do people’s dining habits. He recognizes, as a health-nut himself, that healthy is the way to go.
Enter the incredible chef Mohamed Daher, an 8-year veteran of the concept. His excitement about the new additions was evident as he practically danced around the table while explaining what they had to offer. When the food came, it was clear why.
We started with the basics, revamped chicken sticks with a honey mustard dip and the old favorite, 3 cheese sambousek. The chicken sticks were so good, we decided to spring for the halloumi sticks too, and we were not disappointed. They had the perfect blend of melted cheese with spiced breading, without being overrun with oils.
For those health-nuts that won’t touch a fried stick with a ten-inch pole, fear not. Chef Daher perfected the tuna salad with their new Zooza Salad, and it’s just one of eight on the menu. The baked potatoes, white beans, a boiled egg, corn and black olives on a bed of lettuce are topped with tuna and dressed with a mustard vinegar that screams fresh in your mouth.
The new menu additions are even old favorites taken to new levels. Love baked potato? Craving cheese fries? Then you should definitely try the Potato in the pan. Served in a hot cast iron skillet, the sliced baked potato can be dressed with cheese, and a choice of (one or all) four meats: bacon, beef ham, turkey or a Frankfurt sausage. Make it as healthy as you want, or indulge for the day, either way it’s amazing with their homemade zaatar sauce.
The personal favorite of ours, and Chef Daher’s, was definitely the veggie pizza. The thin crust made of soft dough creates the perfect base for the fresh ingredients. It’s piled high with zucchini, mozzarella and feta cheese, olives, green peppers, fresh rocca and onions on a bed of pesto and a drizzle of olive oil.
For those of you who are a little bolder with your taste buds, and love the spice, the Spizy Chicken is definitely the wrap for you. This marinated chicken is wrapped in melted cheese, with sautéed peppers, spinach and onions and a bit of their homemade spicy sauce. Want to calm down the spice? Try their new local fresh squeezed apple, orange, carrot or lemon juice.
You should always leave room for dessert, but with Zaatar w Zeit’s desserts in a cup you can take it home to enjoy later. Their dessert menu boasts of vanilla custard, a specialty tiramisu, chocolate mousse and the favorite chocolate banana wrap. We sprung for the strawberry cheesecake and didn’t regret it one bit. This traditionally heavy dessert was as light as a mousse, yet still as creamy as a New York Cheesecake, on a light graham crumb bed; with a thin layer of strawberry sauce, it was the perfect end to a delicious meal.
The chefs and people at Zaatar w Zeit have shown the restaurant industry what it takes to go from a small bakery in your hometown to a regionally recognized fast urban dining establishment. By connecting with their customers, and delivering consistently fresh and healthy foods they are sure to be a favorite in the region for years to come.
The new Zaatar w Zeit is located in the Menus Complex off the coastal road in Abu Halifa. They can also be found in The Avenues, Marina Crescent, Shamiya Mall and AUM. To contact them call 180 0333 or connect with them on Facebook: Zaatarwzeitkw or Twitter @ZaatarwzeitKW