Saturday, 22 March 2014

A taste of the Mediterranean ... even
though Spring turns to Winter

Egyptian-style coffee for two in Alladin’s Café in Leeson Street, Dublin, this evening (Photograph: Patrick Comerford,2014)

Patrick Comerford

I know it’s the middle of Lent. But Sunday does not count. Does Saturday evening?

It would be a churlish to allow some coupons to run out, so two of us had dinner this evening in Aladdin’s Café on Upper Leeson Street. This is the heart of Dublin 6, opposite Christ Church, Leeson Park, close to Leeson Street Bridge and a stroll from Ranelagh Village.

Aladdin’s Café was previously known as Keshk, when it offered Egyptian, Greek and Mediterranean food in a tiny café. Today, as Aladdin’s Café, it is a friendly, relaxed and charming restaurant with an elegant ambiance, serving Egyptian, Turkish and Lebanese-style food.

The head chef and owner Alladin Selim has been in the restaurant business for over 20 years, and has now fulfilled his dream of running his own restaurant.

The Egyptian lighting and décor adds to the hint of this being the home of Aladdin with his lamp and his genie.

Between the two of – one vegetarian and one fish-eater – had a delightful meal that included Moutabal (smoked aubergine, mixed with tahini sauce, lemon juice and olive oil, and served with Greek Kalamata olives), Tabouleh (parsley, tomato, mint, onion, cracked wheat, coriander and Lebanese dressing), Deep Fried Feta, Baked Tiger Gambari (Mediterranean style with red and green peppers, courgettes, brushed with olive oil and lemon juice), and a Falafel plate (deep-fried balls of brown chickpeas, tahini, garlic, fresh coriander, onion & parsley with secret spices, served with side salad and pita bread).

We brought our own wine, and finished with two Egyptian-style Arabian (or even Greek) coffees oin small Turkish cups decorated with Mehlevi dervishes.

By the time we had finished, it was raining outside, and cold. It felt like Spring had reverted to Winter. But a riot of daffodils had come to full bloom in a garden in Leeson Street and we had a good taste of the Mediterranean this evening.

Daffodils in full bloom in a garden in Leeson Street this evening (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2014)

No comments: