Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mediterranean Kitchen @ Bellevue

On Saturday, we met some friends for lunch at Mediterranean Kitchen in Bellevue. We have been there n number of times before, but I haven't really got a chance to review it in my blog. We all looooooove the middle eastern fair and jump at every opportunity to go there.

The cozy, dark interiors and the pricey menu make it exemplary for rare occasions. But we simply loooove their food and used to lunch there atleast once a month. Thanks to their unostentatious grab n go cafe in Kirkland; we now go there every other week, sometimes, every week.

The waiter first brought in a pita bread basket and a pungent garlic dip. This restaurant is loved and hated for the amount of garlic they add to the food. So much, that they are even thoughtful to offer mint flavored chocolates with the check. May be they should change the name to Garlic Kitchen or something. But we love the garlicky flavor, so in turn love, love, love their food.

Next, the lemony Lentil Soup came. All good so far. 

Since we were four of us, we ordered the Mezza Tray, which is an assortment of delicious Middle Eastern appetizers: Hummus (mashed garbanzo beans, with spices and tahini sauce), Baba Kanouj (mashed eggplant with spices and tahini sauce), Labnie (Drained, delicious yogurt with olive oil, olives, tomatoes and cucumbers topped with fresh crushed mint), Tabouleh (Chopped parsley with onions and tomatoes tossed with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and bulgar), Zahra (Cauliflower deep-fried, topped with tahini sauce, garnished with green onions, raddish, fresh crushed mint), olives, tomatoes and cucumbers.
Now, if only dolmas (fresh grape leaves stuffed with rice, onions and parsley then baked with delicious Mediterranean spices) were part of this yummylicious platter....... esp. if they could replace the Tabouleh ;-)

We ordered our usual, the spicy Veggie Shawarma.This dish is not listed on their menu, but they customize it for us. In a nutshell, as our meat loving friend pointed out, it is the Chicken Shawarma without the Chicken :). The Shawarma is made with red wine vinegar, spices and garlic, and is tossed with grilled onions, green onions, red cabbage and tomatoes, served with tahini sauce, on a bed of saffron rice. The one at Kirkland, adds a side of hummus to this plate and we absolutely love it. I somehow feel the food is more flavorful at the Kirkland location. And ofcourse, a better bang for the buck. Plus, they have some additional interesting items on their menu. One such sandwich is Batinjan (grilled eggplant with lemon, garlic, green pepper, red pepper and cauliflower deep-fried, topped with tahini sauce, garnished with green onions, raddish, fresh crushed mint and all wrapped in a pita)  that is phenomenol.

usually saves a few scraps of the pita bread, to polish the plates clean, after every morsel has been gnawed and relished. So clean, that, sometimes it leaves me a tad embarassed. Especially when the waiter/waitress gives us a knowing smile when clearing our plates. I ususally scamper off as soon as am done eating, to save myself the embarassment :)

Mediterranean Kitchen (Bellevue) on Urbanspoon


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