"The mutable was hands-down the best I’ve had – the eggplant dip’s smoky sweetness was beautifully balanced by a sourish tang, and its rich, velvety texture was perfect for scooping up with pieces of flat bread. The ghanouj, too, was delicious, and loaded with tomatoes and onions, making it chunkier than most others I’ve tasted.
Another appetiser that Hadramawt excels at is the dolma – grape vine leaves stuffed with rice filling. It is definitely an acquired taste, with the strong and unusual combination of flavours putting off most novices. For me, the sharp taste of the leaves contrasted very nicely with the soft, almost sweet rice inside.
For the mains, although there was a wide variety of Middle Eastern dishes to choose from, I decided to give the traditional Yemeni ones a try. An excellent decision, as the salta turned out to be the highlight of my meal. This is a stew-like concoction of minced lamb, egg, rice and vegetables, sprinkled with halba (fenugreek) powder and served with fluffy bread.
Its spicy fragrance alone set my mouth watering, and the taste was even better. Hearty and thick, the stew had a chockful of juicy strips of lamb, with the egg and veggies adding to the explosion of flavours. Needless to say, I was wiping up every last drop with the bread."
Sharmila Ganesan, The Star, Aug 09