Mezza Maison is one of the Marina’s latest dining locations. Serving up quality Lebanese and North African fare in a relaxed environment. Located on the Corniche al Hamra , next to Cappuccino Grand CafÃ©, you couldn’t ask for a nicer venue for a restaurant. I dropped by one evening for dinner soon after the restaurant had opened. The first thing that strikes you upon entering the restaurant is the decor (and perhaps the music), to say its impressive would be an understatement. Blue Moroccan tiles run across the front of the coffee/juice bar, elegant lanterns hang effortlessly from the ceiling, and fine dining tables merge the contemporary with the traditional faux antiqued brick walls. If I had walked blindfolded into the restaurant before seeing this I would have thought I was in Beirut, not Jeddah.
What’s nice about Mezza Maison is the size of the dishes, they are all small (tapas sized) terracotta like dishes, to the greedy they may seem small, perhaps even stingy, but in reality this means there is hardly any waste of food, and one has room to try even more Mezza, which in turn makes for an even more interesting and varied meal.
We tried the usual suspects like the homous, tabbouleh, and warag enab (Stuffed vine leaves), and all were good, but it is the more unusual dishes offered at Mezza which were the real winners here. The salmon red Habra Naya (essentially raw pureed minced meat – similar to a creamed steak tartar) with a side serving of garlic sauce was just ace, I haven’t tried anything as good in a long time. Equally impressive was the Jellab drink we tried, more of a milk shake here in looks, it was not too sweet, and the icy rose water provided the perfect thirst quenching escape from the richness of the Mezza. No expense seems to have been spared on the ingredients, or decor for that matter; even the Water is not your typical Evian, We didn’t see anything except Voss on our visit!
Other interesting dishes worth a mention include the Saj Tava (a steaming pie like dish of grilled meats served in a spicy tomatoe sauce topped with saj bread), The Sambousa while good, but not particularly different than elsewhere, and the Samak Harra (a spicy fish dish) failed to make an impression on the group as it was a little too oily. However the Batenjan or Lebanese Aubergine dish served in yogurt was fantastic, and the sweet and dry Couscous Salad left us wanting more. We also liked the inclusion of some local Saudi dishes, and found the Aish-Bil-Lahm (bread topped with minced meat) particularly good..
Also worthy of a mention are some of the Moroccan dishes, both the Lahm with Barkouk (Mutton with Prunes) and theÂ Chicken Bastilla pastry impressed, The Bastilla is a typical Moroccan dish usually reserved for weddings and large celebrations, this sweet chicken, egg and crushed nut pastry is worthy of an award, I couldnt get enough of this, and I haven’t even started on the desserts yet!
The Desserts include a selection of middle eastern classics, with a bunch of contemporary takes too, so there’s a Halwa Chocolate pie, a Mohallabiya dessert made with peaches, and even an Othamli Cheesecake with a Kunafa crust base topped with sugar glazed hazelnuts. While these modern takes on local and regional desserts were good, equally impressive was the Cheese Kunafa, which we also enjoyed. Its great to finally see restaurants in Jeddah take food seriously, I think Mezza Maison may just have become one of our new favourites.Read more