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Spice up your life
Monday 2 July 2018
Kuala Lumpur
A collaboration between RapidKL, The Malay Mail and RebeccaSaw.com
Mozer’s: Mozer’s ‘Mandy Rice with Lamb’ is so smoky that you can taste the exquisitely fragrant smoke in the rice!
KUALA LUMPUR, July 2 — I have an adventurous palate. I’ve eaten many types of food (including some I dare not mention in print) from different nations and I enjoy this window into another culture.
One of my favourites is Middle Eastern cuisine. This diverse region offers a taste like no other, with distinctive spice and flavour profile. I love the taste of sumac on grilled meat! The preferred protein of this region — lamb — is also my first choice, although I don’t eat it often due to the high saturated fat content. There has been an explosion of Middle Eastern eateries in the Klang Valley in recent years.

Whether it’s Persian, Arab, Turkish or Syrian food you’re after, there’s bound to be at least one decent Middle Eastern restaurant in your neighbourhood or close to it. Here are some of my picks.

This Syrian restaurant in Subang Jaya has been attracting a crowd of loyal diners since its inception. It has consistently good food and friendly service. I enjoy the Mandy Rice with Lamb. It’s so smoky! You can literally taste and smell the fragrant smoke in the rice, which is simply exquisite. It’s best paired with sweet ice blended Vimto. This UK drink is a Ramadan favourite in Middle Eastern countries. Also, I usually order a serving of assorted baklava whenever I dine in.

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    This hole-in-the-wall establishment is often bypassed in favour for its much larger and better-decorated neighbour. But don’t be fooled because it is this restaurant that serves better Middle Eastern fare. That was the tip my Moroccan friend told me, and having tried both, I’m inclined to agree. I am partial to its Lamb Tagine — a slow-cooked hearty stew of lamb chunks and vegetables served with flatbread. Delicious!

    I’ve always marvelled at the long queue in front of Halap during weekend nights. People from different countries and all walks of life congregate here to order some shawarma to munch down on the spot. More promisingly, you’ll see lots of Middle Eastern types with flatbread in hand so that says something about their authenticity. The owners are Syrian and they make the flatbread themselves every day. This place has arguably the best shawarma in Bukit Bintang.

    Arabian Island is a low-key restaurant but its ‘Lamb Tagine’ can easily rival some of the finest establishments in town.
    The shawarma at Shawarma Halap is arguably the best in town.
    Falafel sandwich from Al Siddiq.
    One of the favourites at Oregi is the Yemeni-style ‘Maqluba Chicken’.

    This place is a few doors down from Shawarma Halap and has an equal number of people waiting in line. They both serve pretty much the same thing but this place is run by Egyptians. I like the falafel sandwich, a deep fried ball of seasoned chickpeas inside a wrapped flatbread. Best of all, it only costs RM4. It makes for a perfect midnight snack.

    This restaurant is located in the heart of the SS15 college area and it’s always packed with students, even at night. Service can be a little slow but the food is worth the wait. My usual order is the Yemeni-style Maqluba Chicken. It’s a huge portion of rice with fried eggplants and chicken pieces in the middle that’s inverted onto your plate. The eggplant gives this rice dish the creamy mouthfeel that I love. 

    * For more gastronomic adventures — keep up with Rebecca on www.RebeccaSaw.com and instagram.com/wackybecky.
Getting There
1. Mozer’s
G.30, Subang Parade, Jalan SS 16/1, Subang Jaya, Selangor 


Distance: 500 metres 

Operating hours: 10am-11.30pm 
2. Arabian Island
S.00.12A, Impian Meridian, Jalan Subang 1, Subang Jaya, Selangor


Distance: 600 metres

Operating hours: noon-10pm 
3. Shawarma Halap
85, Jalan Berangan, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur

LRT/MRT: Pavilion Kuala Lumpur-Bukit Bintang 

Distance: 400 metres

Operating hours: 10am-4.30am 
4. Al Siddiq
87, Jalan Berangan, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur

LRT/MRT: Pavilion Kuala Lumpur-Bukit Bintang 

Distance: 300 metres 

Operating hours: 11am-6am 
5. Oregi
53, Jalan SS 15/4B, Subang Jaya, Selangor 


Distance: 200 metres 

Operating hours: 11am-2am 
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