Food Social Global Feast Q: Qatar (Invited)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017 Sharon Halim 0 Comments

We arrived five minutes before the restaurant opened and there was already a crowd waiting to go inside! Definitely a good sign for our night. I loved the decor of the restaurant - teal walls with this mysterious middle Eastern ambience and these really cool Arabic carving-lighting on the walls. 

In the recent drama in the Middle East, one of the chefs stressed how important it was to portray an image of the Middle East that is not rooted in violence in Rumi. Rumi certainly delivers this by its generous hospitality both in service and in the quality and generous serves of their wholesome meals.

We started off with some appetizers. First up was the pickled vegetables and olives. I don’t normally like pickled anything, so I didn’t particularly enjoy these. But the Sigara Boregi that I tried next was definitely one of the best things I had for the night. Sigara Boregi, which I wonder whether it’s related to the Turkish Borek, is essentially these thin, crisp rolls filled with haloumi, feta and kasseri cheese. It was amazing - crisp, and absolutely bursting with salty cheesy flavours. Only wish I ordered more! 

Platters of dips - the Labne and the Crudites with almond taratoor were served next with some Lebanese flat bread. These flat breads, were hands down, the smoothest flat bread I’ve ever felt. Quite light with a highly smooth exterior, these breads were too die for. I didn’t really like with the Labne as it was too yoghurt-heavy for me, but the almond taratoor was fantastic. I’ve never had an almond-based dip before, and I was surprised by how deliciously nutty the taratoor was. The almond was also very strong in the dip and went great with the flat breads. Highly addictive. Luckily, we were served our next platter before I demolished those dips!

The Persian meatballs came next and they were pretty good. They really just tasted like Italian meatballs so I’m not sure how this version is different. I also tried some of the braised greens, fava beans and shankleesh. These were certainly interesting. It really looks like those Southern collard green dishes. These braised greens were laden with spices, and had a bit of sour flavours running through it. There was a tobacco-ey aftertaste that was definitely unique but I wasn’t really a big fan of this. Next up, were the crispy fried school prawns and tahini sauce. Although they certainly looked exciting, the flavours were just alright. I wished there was an additional element to the dish to add another flavour profile because it just tasted like prawns and peanut sauce (which it was). 

On to the piece de resistance - the Advieh marinated lamb shoulder with mint sirkanjabin which was accompanied by the Freekeh salad with a pomegranate dressing, and the cos and herb salad. Not usually liking lamb, I was super surprised by how perfectly the spices went so well to mask and accompany the gamey smell of lamb. I was also surprised by how minimally gamey the lamb smelt - which I definitely appreciated! The lamb was tender and this lovely clear mint sauce was definitely a nice refreshing accompaniment to the spices. I also loved how they thoughtfully paired the lamb with two different salads. I enjoyed the freshness of the cos and herb salad, and the coolness of the dressing which was a light accompaniment to the heavy lamb. The Freekeh salad was a bit of a miss as it tasted a little strange to me. There was this cinammon flavours running through the salad, and its combination of the almond bits reminded me of a healthy smoothie. 

Our night draws to a close with a platter of Turkish delights and Arak poached apricots filled with labne. I don’t really like Turkish delights but I appreciated the slightly harder than mochi texture of these Turkish delights! It was a tad too sweet to me but I liked the softness of them. The Arak poached apricots were my favourite dessert. I didn’t like the labne dip from the appetizers but I loved how the labne inside these apricots were super smooth against the tartness of the apricots! I tried the sweet Lebanese coffee and its bitterness and fragrance complemented our desserts. 

Overall, we had a really fun night with FoodSocial and the conversations we had with members. I loved how the servings of our dishes from Rumi were both generous and well-balanced at the same time. It was the ultimate application of those food pyramids the teach you in school! Rumi is a great place to start getting acquainted with the Lebanese food culture with their wide selection of dishes and their hospitable staff. 

Rumi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

+61039388 8255
116 Lygon St
Brunswick East, VIC 3057
Monday-Sunday: 6pm-10pm