Having pop up restaurants is becoming quite common these days and this one popped up a few months ago. Chic Pea came into fruition when food blogger Fouad Kassab and business partner Hesham El Masry decided to join forces and create something special.
When I first read the article announcing the opening of Chic Pea I was immediately drawn to it and have been trying since then to dine here.
Well, I made it and together with some special friends, we decided to have the full set menu for only $60 per person. What a great price for the number of dishes we were served.
As I was not driving that night I decided to have a glass of white. It was the 2012 Krems Gruner Veltliner from Austria. I found it thoroughly lovely!
Note: Apologies in advance for my grainy photos. It was quite dark in the restaurant and I resisted the use of flash and tried to use the natural light from a candle. :)
We started with a complimentary plate of pickles - nice crunch and nice tang! Great start!
Almond and potato bread with Pepe Saya dukkah butter. What a great idea to coat the delicious butter with dukkah! Loved the concept and I intend to replicate this when I serve my PS butter in the future. :) But the star was the bread. A beautifully dense, nicely warm bread that I could have kept eating and eating and forsaken the rest of the meal. So good!
Hummus with Turkish chilli and smoke red pepper. I wanted more of this dish and would have loved some Lebanese bread to slather this gorgeous dip in.
Roasted beetroot with labnah, maple and black sesame. Another great side dish and the beetroots were sweet, and still had a nice bite.
Stuffed cabbage, with mushrooms, pine nuts and yoghurt. This dish reminded me of the Greek dish Dolmades. Except there was no vine leaves. I could taste the lovely middle eastern spices. Yum!
Purple cabbage salad with shanklish and Iranian raisins. A yummy, crunchy, full of flavour salad. It was quite light and the bits of crumbed cheese provided a slight saltiness to the salad.
Chicken shish tawook with toum. OMG - this was the most tender chicken I have ever had. It was almost falling off as I cut into it.
Beef and pistachio kofta on charcoal with baba ghanoush and pickles. And there were bits of pomegranate to provide the bite. By this time I was starting to feel full. I wonder why? By the way the beef was tender and smoky.
Fried brussel sprouts with tahini. A new dish cooked up by Fouad. It wasn't even on the menu that night. And what a lovely surprise. For someone who is not normally keen on brussel sprouts, I found this dish to be utterly delicious. The fried brussel sprouts had a delightful charred taste and as a result had a slight sweetness which was offset by the slightly bitter tahini. Great dish, more please!
Siyyadiyeh - spiced local snapper pilaf. The pilaf's combination of spices reminded me strongly of India. Something about the flavours reflected India to me. It was a delicious dish and obviously full of flavour.
Slow cooked lamb with eggplant bayildi. This was the last savoury dish of the night and rightly so. The lamb was tender and I enjoyed the smoky eggplant.
The two desserts were:
Rice pudding with almond crumb and quince. When I looked at the dish I thought to myself 'I can't eat this! It looks too rich!'. But I took a mouthful and loved it. Not as sickly sweet as it looked. It had a slight sweetness with a delicious crunch from the almond.
Atayef with date butterscotch and walnuts. Wow! What a lovely dessert! Deliciously fried pancakes with a slight caramel taste which was perfectly brought together by the crunchy walnuts.
What a delightful meal and it ended so well when I got to meet the chef. Fouad was so friendly and humble. I could not wait to take a photo of Hesham and Fouad as a souvenir of this great meal and lovely evening.
I wish them all the success. I hope this 2 nights a week dinner (Friday and Saturday nights) become a real full blown restaurant.
Chic Pea @ Plunge
46 Lackey Street
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