Ahwak Jeddah has arrived, finally the Lebanese restaurant out of Beirut for which we have been waiting so long is now open at the Ascott (Two t’s?) Centre in Jeddah. Describing themselves as a ‘trendy Lebanese restaurant serving traditional food in a modern way using “Abd El Wahab” authentic recipes and ingredients.’ We have been keen to enjoy their menu for sometime, but when we heard about the opening night on the 24th July, nothing could keep us away.
The Restaurant is nicely decorated, more casual than fine dining, but that being said the restaurant would be a fine place to take business colleagues, friends or family. The bachelor section can be found on the upper floor, while the ground floor is reserved for Families only. The Restaurant manager was kind enough to help us select a number of dishes from the menu, and due to a prior engagement, we took our order ‘to go’.
We were expecting this might be a problem on opening night, and while we were informed the takeaway packaging was not the final packaging they would be using, this wasn’t a problem for us, and we moved on to ordering. The menu is extensive, and we will shortly be back for a ‘dine in’ experience, but on this occasion we ordered a selection of starters, mains and a dessert to share.
The logo of Ahwak stands out, and is splashed across the centre of the menu, napkins and venue exterior, it’s actually pretty neat, with the restaurant name accompanied by a small red bird – (perhaps a bulbul songbird?). The takeaway bags also had the red bird tiled across their sides, definitely a young, fresh & contemporary feel here for this vibrant cafe & restaurant.
We tried the Fattoush Salad 29 SR, Warak Enab 28 SR (Vine leaves), Beef Kibbeh 32 SR (4 pieces – there’s a choice of chicken or beef), Cheese Rakaki Rolls (Grilled not fried – you can choose), the Mixed Grill 81 SR, the Fish Pita Pappilote 88 SR, and for dessert the Lawzieh bil Ashta.
We particularly enjoyed the Fattoush Salad, our Warak Enab was a little on the soft side, but in contrast the Cheese Rolls were a clear favourite of all those who tried them. The Beef Kibbeh was also very tasty. As for the mixed Grill, the kebabs were very good, not too oily, we liked the Lamb awsal and the ground Kebabs best; the Chicken Shish Taouk was a little on the dry side, possibly over done, and we would have preferred it moister. That being said, it could have been down to being left too long in the car on the journey home.
The finale of the meal – the ‘Lawzieh bil Ashta’ was brilliant, filled with fresh cream and hints of rosewater, pistachios and syrup, this was an indulgent treat, and perfect palate cleanser.
The total was 321 SR, and the food was probably enough for two (three at a stretch). So in terms of pricing, they seem to be on par with the likes of other relatively recent Lebanese Restaurants like SemSom etc.
We’ve only scratched the surface of the dishes on the menu at Ahwak Jeddah, and will definitely be back for more, and we promise next time, it will be a ‘dine in’ affair!
Have you been to Ahwak yet? Please share your experience in the Reviews below..