Sunday, November 14, 2010

Al Qasr, Holland Village

It seems that I've found myself another place to return to for some Lebanese chow down at Al Qasr (46 Lorong Mambong, Holland Village, tel : +65 6467 7793). I had heard about this place some time back when they had opened up and had always been wanting to drop by. For some reasons, this was another one of those places that had been put on the "to check out" list for some time until today.

The restaurant started off serving us some appetizers which was basically olives, vegetable sticks and pickles. Which looked pretty much like what I remember from a neighboring Lebanese restaurant Al Hamra.

We ordered up a serving of their flat breads for the benefit of the hummus which we were also getting. These flat bread were surprisingly quite fragrant and were freshly made and steaming hot and puffy when they were served.

The grilled Halloumi cheese were really good. These mozzarella like cheese had a richer milky flavor and a higher content of salt, making them rather salty if you ate them on their own. The melting point of these cheeses were also quite high due to their composition and the result is that they can be grilled or pan fried without them really melting into a gooey mess. The texture was enjoyably chewy and very nicely coupled with their savory grilled flavors.

Their hommos karwarma was basically our order of hummus. Topped with pan fried minced lamb and a sprinkle of pine nuts. I really couldn't say that there would have been any better than this creamy and meaty dip for the flat breads.

To satiate the craving of lamb, we went with a serving of sawda ghanam. Pan fried lamb livers with butter, some spices and lemon juice. The livers were a little tough after the cooking, but really made up for themselves from the gamey flavors and a very appetizing sauce paired with the squeeze of lemon. Also great with the flat breads.

To top off the bunch of Lebanese tapas, we ordered a Sultani kebab which featured a nicely spiced, but unidentifiable as lamb piece of grilled meat and a couple of kebab koobideh accompanied by saffron infused basmati rice. The latter kebabs were finely minced and and had a taste that reminded me very much of sausages. Not really how I had expected them to be in terms of texture, but I guess the important thing was that they were tasty.

Dessert was a chilled almond pudding scented with rose and topped with bits of ground pistachio. This was unexpectedly very delicious. Sweet and creamily textured, reminding me of a very milky panna cotta.

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