Sunday, 13 September 2015

Lebanese Legend Food Festival with Master-chef Jameela Zakey,Afraa restaurant & lounge,Kolkata

             Afraa Restaurant and Lounge hosting a special gastronomical indulgence and I was fortunate enough to have been invited as part of KFB (Kolkata Food Bloggers) to attend the ongoing event “Lebanese Legend”. It was a very special afternoon at Afraa Restaurant and Lounge to experience different dishes form Lebanese, Syrian and Middle Eastern cuisines guided by Master-chef Jameela Zakey from Damascus.
        The Restaurant is situated at the top(7th Floor) of City Centre 1,Saltlake,Kolkata.Entering through the glass door one can find a spacious and  glass decorated walls ,soothing ambiance with fine lighting, seating arrangements . Looking outside one can find the view is nothing less than enchanting for the city of joy Kolkata. This very special place is something which inspires you to come again and again to celebrate your special day in a very special manner.

       We must thank Afraa for giving a chance to explore more and more about different cuisines. After a small introduction with other bloggers we are served with mocktail and juice along with Paneer Tikka with green sauce and crunchy tender fried fish with tartar sauce.

       Then introduced with the wonder woman Chef Jameela Zakey, born to a Syrian father and Lebanese mother.She has flown down to Kolkata to tickle the palettes with an interesting mix of Lebanese, Syrian and other West Asian cuisines. Her story of success was very inspirational and we got to know how she achieved so many things with all odds. She thoroughly explained about Lebanese, Syrian and meditation foods. Also cleared the misconception of people’s about it has mostly non-veg dishes. 

She told about all the dishes and how these cuisines do use spices, olives, olive oil and lots of herbs and veggies. The cuisine has lots of salads, dips and grilled food too, which are more on the healthier side. So these cuisines are perfect combination of veg, non-veg and wonderful desert too.
     As chef’s version if we talk about “Mezze” - is a veg appetizer which is a beautiful mix dish from different Middle Eastern cuisines named “Hummus”,” Labneh” and “Baba Ghanoush” and generally served before any heavy meal. It was served in a very fashioned manner with olive topping in white square dish with a special Middle Eastern chilli.


Mezze

Shorba Bil Adas” is finely selected lentils cooked with celery, cumin and olive oil and also served with Pita Bread.
Shorba Bil Adas


Felafel”- is a deep-fried ball made from chickpeas, fava beans, or both. Falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern food, commonly served in a Pita, which acts as a pocket.It's taste was wonderful.
Felafel

Felafel Bread

Among Main course the taste of “Batinjan Bil Bechamel” was unforgettable which was made up with marinated eggplant with spices and herbs, baked in white sauce .It was just melting in mouth and a unique taste.
Batinjan Bil Bechamel

Riz ma Zafaran” is saffron rice served along with a chicken preparation in rich gravy.This combination was very nice and chicken was tender and juicy.
Riz ma Zafaran with Chicken

Musakal” is a dish like light Biryani which is assorted grills of tomato, prawn, fish, chicken and mutton with rice. This is served in a very special manner where rice placed at the centre is surrounded by all grilled items.  

Musakal

Three deserts are served and believe me the tastes are just out of the world.
Kanefeh” is a Cheese pastry with toppings of thin vermicelli with pista and syrup. It was too soft to hold and the taste was just awesome.
Kanefeh
The famous Lebanese “Baqlawa” are Pastries filled with pistachio-honey fillings and dipped in thick sugar syrup.It's one bite was just piece of heaven.We each were not stopped till it became finished.
Baqlawa
Last “Om Ali” was served and it was more or less like our Bengali Payesh .This is kind of hot bread pudding prepared along with phyllo, pistachios, pine nuts, raisins and honey.    

Om Ali
      So what are you waiting for…? The “Lebanese Legend” is on till 20th Sept. Just grab this unique opportunity to taste authentic dishes from Lebanese, Syrian and Middle Eastern cuisines…

Me with the Chef

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