Restaurant Review: Levantine cuisine at Awani
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Restaurant Review: Levantine cuisine at Awani

Restaurant Review: Levantine cuisine at Awani

Home grown Levantine restaurant Awani is influenced by the Ottoman and Byzantine Empires, and infused with Armenian and Arabic cultures

Zubina Ahmed

Home grown Levantine restaurant Awani, is a tribute to the age-old traditions of Arabian hospitality where each dish takes you through a journey across the region. Influenced by the Ottoman and Byzantine Empires, and infused with Armenian and Arabic cultures, if you are looking to have a great taste of lebanese food, then this is one of the places-to-be.

Using ancestral tools and ingredients, Awani creates dishes of the past by fusing them into today. Meat, vegetables or pulses, their cuisine uses its natural flair to transform simple ingredients into complex dishes, reminiscent of home. The menu continues to remind these familiar tastes. With an excellent decor overlooking the Burj Khalifa and the water fountain, as soon as we entered, what a view—you can watch the fountain show while eating the delicious meal!


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We started our meal with the fresh and palatable lentil soup, which was a blend of chopped onions, lentils, carrots and olive oil, cooked with the chef’s spices, and served with fried Arabic bread and lemon wedge. As for salads, we tried the chicken avocado salad with mixed green lettuce, fresh mango, cherry tomato, avocado, fresh mushroom and marinated grilled chicken breast.The crispy halloumi salad was a unique mixed green lettuce with dried figs, cherry tomatoes and mixed capsicum topped with halloumi cheese and wrapped with othmaliya dough.

Next up, you cannot miss Hummus in levantine cuisine. We wanted to go beyond the traditional hummus and try the chili hummus mixed with chili paste and walnut. The other option was the hickory hummus mixed with smoked barbeque flavour. Both equally gratifying and palatable. For the cold mezze, we ordered beetroot muttabal – mixed with tahini, walnuts, garlic, garnished with olive oil drizzle. For the hot mezze, we tried eggplant and beef sajiyyeh cooked with cream, cheese, onion, drizzled with olive oil, garnished with sumac, nuts and parsley. From the grill, we ordered-shish tawooq, charcoal grilled marinated chicken breast cubes. Each dish was delish to the core.

Awani’s signature charcoal grilled marinated lamb chop was succulent and tender.  The chicken maqlobeh – rice cooked with cauliflower, eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes, and chicken was flavoursome to the tee. We ended the hearty meal with my favourite crumbly, glazed cheese kunafa dough with traditional cheese, served with sugar syrup and pistachio nuts. In general, the food was of exceptional quality, and the prices were reasonable for dinner platters that were generously sized.

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