Middle eastern cuisines have been in Malaysia for many years. Over the years, they have gained popularity around Jalan Bukit Bintang. However, all that glory and fame ended when the quality and consistency of food declined. Despite the drop in standards, restaurant still continue to charge high prices for their food – which is absurd! These cased locals and even foreigners began to distant themselves from most Middle Eastern restaurants forcing the closure of some of them.
Fortunately for us, Marhaba Restaurant – Signature Yemeni Cuisine, has much to offer. They are dedicated to offer guests with authentic Middle Eastern experience of fine dining alongside rich tradition of Yemeni food. Beginning with the design of the restaurant, it felt really luxurious and well designed. Consistency of a certain pattern can be seen throughout the restaurant, which includes the glass window, ceiling, walls, partition and so on. Furthermore, various seating options are available as well – indoors, outdoors, on a carpet within a divided section and of course, the private room with a private toilet in it (trust us, that was amazing).
Members of Marhaba Restaurant – staffs and waiters were extremely responsive. They also serve with a smile on their face, which help provide a warm and welcoming atmosphere and dining experience. Most importantly, all the food were freshly prepared from scratch with no frozen ingredients – just chilled.
Upon ordering, we were given a plate of appetizers, which consisted on several chopped vegies along with a bowl of Lamb Soup and a glass of tea (absolutely free of charge!). The best part about it was the flavor and aroma induced within the soup – absolutely tantalizing. We could literally smell the soup meters away before arrival. It was also rich in the essence of lamb and had a great depth of flavor. With no hesitation, we ordered seconds.
We began our feast with a large serving of traditional Yemeni bread that looked like a ridiculously huge ‘Naan bread’ called ‘Mulauwah’. Seriously, it was huge! However, finishing the bread quickly would be the most ideal because it gets cold rather quickly. No worries though, the lamb stew that it came with, ‘Saltah Fahsah’ was rich in flavor and filled with pulled lamb meat that complimented the bread perfectly. Comes in a stone pot, it was savoury, sweet, a tinge of spiciness, hearty and truly worth recommending. Would love that for breakfast!
Moving on, Marhaba Restaurant is also famous for its Lamb Hanith, which is selected from baby lamb not more than 6 weeks old. The meat was incredibly tender and the spices and herbs used packed a whole lot of flavor. The meat was so soft that it fell off the bone with ease. The rice that was included was also fragrant, aromatic and flavourful. Last but not least, the portion itself was huge and can possibly be shared among 4-5 people, though we heard stories of an individual finishing it with ease. Loved the flavor, texture and definitely the size of it.
Other dishes such as the Grilled Prawns were really good as well. Not only was it fresh, it was seasoned and cooked to perfection! Lovely sweetness of the prawns alongside savory and aromatic ends of the herbs made it truly remarkable and of course, delicious.
Hummus, a dish that can be found in every Middle Eastern restaurant, was not left out as well. In fact, it worked pretty well with the ‘Mulauwah’ Yemeni Bread. It had the depth of flavor and was really smooth as well. Light, simple and somewhat addictive.
We also had some uniquely-named dishes such as the Chicken Mandi and Lamb Mandi, which literally translate to ‘Chicken Shower’ and ‘Lamb Shower’. Despite the weird name however, it seemed pretty normal. The chicken was red in color and served with rice. It was tender, juicy and had a hint of flavor. The Lamb Mandi on the other hand, was packed with flavor – more compared to the Chicken Mandi. Despite both being prepared with traditional Yemeni spices.
Last but not least, we had Honey Dates for dessert. Not those dates that you’ll find in the supermarket but something much more unique. It was basically bread with dates topped with honey – simple but unique. The flavor itself was pretty odd for most of us. Hence we believe that it was an acquired taste. However, loved the fact that it was a nice balance of sweetness between the dates and the honey and really appreciated the idea of it.
Marhaba Restaurant also prides itself in its array of mocktails and fresh juices. They have all the basics from Pinacolada to Fruit Punch and even their very own signature Marhaba Fruit Mocktail. Definitely worth the try as their main dishes were all extremely flavorful. So if you’re in the mood for some awesome lamb dishes or even Middle Eastern cuisine in general, do visit Marhaba Restaurant – Signature Yemeni Cuisine for your share of deliciousness today!