SOUK, Salunke Vihar Road
Souk, the brand new pursuit of Brand Cafe Arabia is a standalone cafe cum restaurant dishing up some exclusive Lebanese and Middle Eastern Cuisine. The menu is more than just an extension of the food listicle served at Cafe Arabia. We have a unique line up of Turkish Pides, peculiar mezze and some exotic desserts.
The word SOUK is the Arabic word for a marketplace. The restaurant is quite an antithesis when we compare it to the numerous Cafe Arabia kiosks all over the city. The vibe is more of a neighborhood cafe exuding a whole lot of the Arab world in its walls and paraphernalia.
Though the love for Middle Eastern cuisine is definitely something that the owners hold dear, yet their extension and experimentation with the menu is well received.
Salted Caramel Latte
Greek Salad with Grilled Chicken
Black Pepper Chicken
Curried minced lamb Turkish Pide
Baklawa with Ice cream
- Greek Salad (5/5) – One hell of a salad. A creamy base with a lot of green peppers, olives, crushed oregano with bots of feta cheese. The inclusion of grilled chicken takes this salad to another level. The chicken is perfectly grilled and meaty par standard, it makes you think twice after you dig in.
- Hummus Platter (4/5) – I could call myself a Hummus Fanatic. I could nibble on pita and lavash endlessly with some hummus on the side. At The Souk, we have three variations in the platter. Apart from the classic, we also have a beetroot hummus, quite mild with a tinge of sweet followed by the Pesto Basil Hummus- the pesto is overpowered by the high basil content.
- Small Plates (3/5)- The Falafels seemed over fried, completely losing its flavor. Possibly a bad day in the kitchen, but the falafels just did not match up to the expectations.
- Vegetable and Beetroot spiced kebabs (4/5)- The clear winner in the Vegetarian segment. Mild flavors of ground spices, the raw sweetness of beetroots and that bang on texture create a beautiful medley hitting all the right notes. Something you just can’t miss at The Souk.
- Al Fahm (4/5) – Meaty and handpicked succulent chicken legs slit and grilled in the Tandoor. The stuffing of cheese and yellow chilli add a balancing touch to the otherwise spiced chicken legs. The perfect knock it off the bone dish.
- Black Pepper chicken (5/5)- My favorite from the night. Never have I enjoyed anything with black pepper as much as this gem of an appetizer. Boneless and amazingly well cooked chicken kebabs marinated in cream cheese and black pepper. The ground black pepper gives you a sharp aftertaste whilst the cheese lends the gooeyness at all the required places. A match made in heaven, a wow dish.
- Harissa Chicken Skewers (3/5) – Spices strips of thigh chicken grilled to perfection, they got the temperature soaring a little too high for my palate. I’m sure they picked the hottest chilli peppers for this one.
- Turkish Pide – The Turkish version of a thin crust pizza. A thin base on the lines of a toasted pita We tried two versions where the Curried Minced Lamb (4/5) stole the show. A generous helping of spiced minced lamb topped with oodles of cheese and that fried egg. The Fiery Chicken (3/5)was decent particularly due to the tomato harissa base.
- Salted Caramel Latte (5/5)– This was a brand new addition on the menu, pretty much the day we had our scheduled tasting. This heavenly drink is thick, creamy and your ‘caramel popcorn’ meets ‘butterscotch’ kind of good.
- Baklawa with ice cream (4/5) – They got this right and how! A different version of the flaky baklawa moulded in a cup like shape and topped with caramel ice cream. The warm and gooey centre with that melting icecream gives you all the right ‘gasms!
- Rose Panna cotta (3/5)- A gorgeous looking dessert which fails to please the tongue. The combination of rose and cardamom remains too mild for my palate and the panna cotta seems more on the lines of our homemade custards (read gelatin). The pistachio toppings seem off too, overall this one scores more on looks and presentation than flavors.
- Skillet chocolate chip lava cookie (2/5)- A dessert which could get a man of any age excited just by the looks of it. Unfortunately the cookie dough was more tough than crumbly. The edges were hard to break through and a sense of dryness looms large on the dessert.
Disclaimer: This Review is based on a complimentary invite extended by The Souk. The opinion expressed in the review is entirely my own and in no manner influenced by any party.