Zikrayat Lebanese Cuisine
229 Glenferrie Road, Malvern
03 9576 1384
- Smokey Eggplant Dip
- Kafta Mishwee
The Smokey Eggplant Dip was rather unremarkable. While the texture was pleasant and the eggplant flavour permeated throughout, none of the aromas were particularly strong. Also noticeably lacking was the smokey flavour that was prominently advertised. This was complemented by Lebanese flatbread, which was cold and limp on this occasion.
The Kafta Mishwee didn't tickle our fancy either. The three small lamb skewers were all universally tough and rather dry. The protein lacked lamb flavour, and was overpowered by the use of one single spice. The bed of basmati rice was sparingly applied and served luke warm. The worst bit though, would be that salad, which may as well not be served. More on this later.
The Moussaka failed to excite. Despite the eggplant within being cooked to a soft and melty perfection, it was honestly all downhill from there. Gone were the soft, creamy mash potatoes that one would expect from a moussaka. What you do get here was an abundance of still-hard chickpeas that felt like they were added as an afterthought, as opposed to being stewed to softness with the rest of the ingredients. The tomato base sauce was oily and unimpressive, lacking in depth of flavour. This was maybe just a cut above canned soup, but honestly not by much.
The salad accompanying the Kafta Mishwee was downright terrible. Extremely salty and oily, this so-called salad completely defeated the sole purpose of having a salad in the first place. Disgusting.
This restaurant perhaps perfectly fits the definition of mediocrity. Most items were serviceable, but definitely failed to provide a good sensory experience. Middle-Eastern cuisine is characterised by bold flavours and fresh ingredients, but this restaurants provides none of the above.
Would Penguin Eat Again?
At close to $30 a piece for mains, this kind of price tag is unrealistic for Middle-Eastern food, and especially unwarranted at this quality and quantity.
The mediocrity of the food, coupled with the less than generous portion size, suffice to say we won't be recommending anyone to bother.