Lebanese Dining at Al-Amar, Pavilion KL

Frank and I celebrated our 2 years anniversary just over the weekend. You know one thing about being a Libra? It takes a long time for me to decide where to go for dinner. And that’s not all. Frank is also a Libra. Our conversation went like this:

Frank: “What do you feel like eating?”

Me: “Don’t know, something nice I guess. How about you?”

Frank: “I have a few places in mind…..”

After looking through menus, both of us decided none of the places tickle our fancy so we spent the next hour or so discussing where to go.

Me: “Why don’t we just go to Al-Amar?” (By no means the last resort, only because it takes us WAY too long to go through the list)

Frank: “Yeah why not…..”

Me: *Takes out phone and whatsapp Ralph for reservation*….. confirmed. End. Of. Discussion.

Phew… Tiring process, isn’t it? No wonder we eat at home most of the time. Even though deciding what to cook could also take time.

Having dined at Al-Amar Express several weeks ago, courtesy of management team, we’ve promised ourselves to visit the Pavilion outlet. Because Ralph’s a nice man and will perform belly dance we enjoyed the Lebanese delights last time.

It was a late dinner slot on Sunday evening. The whole shopping centre was a little quiet. But all the better for us. We were seated inside (if the weather wasn’t so hot I would have chosen the terrace) and the ordering process went relatively quickly, having studied the menu at home countless time. Yes, I can be slightly obsessive at times.

First to arrive were the cold Mezze dishes: Hommos – a dip made with chickpeas, tahini paste, olive oil and lemon juice and the Shanklich – Assorted Lebanese cheeses fused with Labneh and spices, served with thyme and finely chopped tomatoes, onions, parsley and capsicum.

Hommos (or Hummus)

Everyone has their own preferences of this middle-eastern classic dip, and Al-Amar’s version is exceptionally smooth and creamy, almost a bit ‘cheesy’. At home, I would have added some garlic and perhaps not blend it so fine to enjoy a bit of texture.

Shanklich

Shanklich came highly recommended and I could certainly see why. All the beige-brown bits were the cheeses. The flavours were robust and almost like a punch to your face. The vegetables (and fruit, technically) helped to cut through the otherwise overwhelming richness. Frank fell in love instantly with this and promptly devoured nearly half the bowl.

All Puffy and Adorable looking Lebanese Bread

Of course, all these Mezze dishes were to be enjoyed with the freshly made bread. Whether you prefer to just tear small pieces to scoop the dips/fillings up, or just fill the pita pocket and munch like a sandwich, up to you. They will also replenish the empty basket.

Haloumi Salad

And how could we not order the Haloumi salad? Pan-fried pieces of Haloumi cheese, bed of green with grapes and pomegranate. Make sure you take each ingredient and combine for the perfect harmony of flavours. Dressing was a lemon and olive oil one, just how I like it. Simplicity at its best.

Well, the next dish is slightly unusual. I have had plenty of raw fish in my life and I do enjoy raw beef in forms of Gyu Tataki, Yukke or the classic Steak Tartare. But I have never come across raw lamb.

Kebbeh Nayyeh – Minced raw lamb meat mixed with bulgur wheat and spices served with fresh spring onions, mint and garlic sauce (forgot to take the picture before making a dent in this)

Even though I know that Frank would not touch this with a 10-foot-pole (he eats steaks WELL DONE and does not touch any animal proteins other than the cows), I couldn’t resist ordering it. I suppose I could have asked for a half portion as this was huge! In terms of taste, I think it met my expectations. There was obviously a strong gamey taste, enhanced by spices like cumin (the prominent one anyway), and the oh-so-amazing garlic sauce (not pictured). It was an interesting culinary discovery. Tastes even better when paired with the lebanese ‘arak’, a milky concoction reminiscence of white sambuca because of the licorice taste.

Blurry picture of arak. #failblogger

I couldn’t finish the raw lamb though so I’ve asked to pack it home and transformed it into lamb kofta the next day. Wouldn’t recommend having it raw the next day if you want to be nice to your digestive tract. It was still fabulous!

Mixed Pastries Platter. Clockwise from top – Cheese Rolls, Kebbeh Kras, Lamb Sambousik and Spinach Fatayer

My favourite was the Lamb Sambousik, fried dough with minced lamb and spices. Obviously Frank would go for the Cheese rolls. I felt that the Spinach Fatayer had too little fillings (albeit nice) and perhaps the pastry was a little thick, and the Kebbeh Kras (Fried Ground Beef and Bulghur shell with minced meat and spices) was decent enough. The next time I’d stick to perhaps the first two.

By this time we were both waving the white flags. I was planning to order from the grill but alas we were defeated. Plus we needed some space for desserts too.

Before we had time to breathe and look at the desserts menu these appeared on our table.

Sweet Delights! Chocolate Moelleux and White Chocolate Cheesecake

“Compliments from the manager,” the lovely waitress cooed. Ahh. That makes up for NOT doing the belly dance, Ralph.

The Chocolate Moelleux was actually a Chocolate Molten Cake (or Lava Cake, if you prefer) with a melting centre. Although it didn’t really ooze out like I expected, the flavour was still spot on thanks to the use of Belgian chocolate (my favourite), I also enjoyed the Vanilla Ice cream that came with the cake.

Perfection on a plate.

But the White Chocolate Cheesecake? Star of the night! Dressed with a strawberry marmalade, it was light, not overly sweet (which is what I usually worry about with white chocolate) and the tartness of strawberry was a perfect match. We fought for the last piece and Frank won. No fair!

Petrol in a cup

If you feel like messing up your sleep for the next 2 days, try the Lebanese coffee. Don’t judge the seemingly small cup, the brown liquid (almost a sludge, although I think this term doesn’t sound very flattering) packs a whole lot of Oomph! Frank was reluctant to be the hand model so mine jumped in instead.

I didn’t record the individual pricing but the bill came to just over RM300. That’s because we’ve ordered wine, arak as well as sparkling water. The service was prompt and attentive and ambience was lovely. I feel that we need to dine as a bigger group to be able to sample more dishes though.

Oh, all pictures taken by Samsung Galaxy S2, which can be a little lacking in dimmer places. I tried. 🙂

Pavilion

Al Amar Lebanese Cuisine Sdn Bhd
Lot 6.10, Level-6, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur,
168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur.
+6 03-2166 1011
Google Map
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18 thoughts on “Lebanese Dining at Al-Amar, Pavilion KL

    1. Can’t say I’ve had a lot in KL but I believe you! 😀

      Just linked your blog and thanks for dropping by! I can sure learn a lot from your photography, as well as your expert plating skills!

  1. Kelly, thanks for dropping by my blog and the link up. I really appreciate it. I love the food in Al Amar Express. We were suppose to celebrate wedding anniversary there last year but both hubby and I got sick. We have yet to dine at the Al mar at the Pavilion. All the food you showed here look delicious and the price for so much food, nice environment and good service is way reasonable.

    1. Ooh…. I have no idea why this comment ended up in my spam folder… But it’s now rescued! Thanks for dropping by. Al-amar Pavilion would be nice for a special occasion but since the express also offers similar range of food for a slightly cheaper price, I’d go there the next time I’m craving for Lebanese food! 🙂

  2. Loved everything about what I tried on menu but the kicker was the cheesecake. That was a total winner. Best I’ve had in years. Wish I had a year’s supply of it stashed away somewhere secret. The service was efficient and friendly, the coffee was powerful and the whole ambience was excellent. The company was, of course, the best part of the experience.

  3. Congratulation Kelly and Frank 🙂 wow celebrating 2 years! So happy for you both ~ I know what you mean! It’s so tiring thinking of where to go to celebrate and how to celebrate ~ but usually I do all the planning so when it’s our anniversary lol i force Mr Bao to do it for once 😀
    I’m so jealous the desserts look LOVELY!

  4. What a waste. First of all the food is pathetic and unreasonably expensive. I can get 100 times better food in half of the price.
    The other bad thing was the labenese dance and music. This is happening in a restaurant where ppl are coming with their families and children.
    That was so embarrassing for us to sit and eat having my kids sitting besides us and that music and dance was going on. Not recommended to any one except the people who are in search of this kind of vulgarity. Definitely will never visit again.

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