Souk by Cafe Arabia
Cafe Arabia is known for their multiple QSR counters in malls across Pune. They are known for dishing out some of the best Lebanese cuisine in the city. Souk is Cafe Arabia’s first standalone dine in restaurant, taking the Cafe Arabia legacy to the next level.
The Grilled Chicken Greek Salad
Grilled chicken, feta cheese, oregano and fresh veggies makes this a lovely summer salad. The freshness and crunch of the veggies, creamy feta cheese and the oregano based dressing go perfectly with the perfectly grilled chicken.
Crunchy french fries dusted with sumac powder – the sumac gives it a lovely Mediterranean touch adding a bit of spice to the golden fried fries. That being said, the garlic dip didn’t go too well with the fries though – I would love to have these with some ketchup instead!
Hummus Platter with Pita Bread
Cafe Arabia is known for their hummus. This platter adds a dimension, serving four avatars of the delicious creamy hummus – original, basil pesto, jalapeno & harissa and beetroot. The pita bread is coated with za’atar dressing, and that did over-power the delicate flavor of the hummus. Be sure to ask for only a light coating of za’atar next time around.
Falafels (chick pea balls, deep-fried) topped with a bit of garlic yogurt and olives, served with a garlic dip. Beautifully cooked, tasted delicious.
Harrissa Chicken Skewers
These looked delicious, but were a bit of a let down. The harissa gave it an overall spicy heat, but these were under-seasoned. A dash of salt helped make it more palatable.
The best part about this dish was the fact that it was very lightly spiced, allowing the natural flavor of mushrooms to shine through. The gentle char on the top really added a beautiful dimension to the flavor and mouthfeel of the dish
Chicken Black Pepper
A take on the more popular malai tikka, these were rich and creamy. Would have helped if the black pepper flakes were not as massive.
Peppy Paneer and Pesto Mushroom – Half ‘n Half
The paneer was delicious. Pepper, oregano, red bell pepper and grilled paneer – this had the makings of a delicious ‘desi’ pizza. The pesto mushroom didn’t work for me personally – the pesto didn’t work with the mushrooms, leading to a confused palate.
Spiced Minced Lamb
An absolutely gorgeous looking plate of food, this was the highlight of the meal. Lightly spiced minced lamb blended beautifully with the cheese and tomato sauce, leaving us going ‘yummm’ with every bite. The fried egg on top was like a ray of sunshine, taking this spectacular plate of food to another level.
Cafe Arabia is famous for its shawarma. This one, however, was not up to the mark. Over stuffed with the garlic sauce, and the lack of crunch lead it to be totally unbalanced. The pita bread too wasn’t toasted enough, leading to a very ‘meh’ mouth feel.
The Peanut Butter and Jelly Shake
If you like peanut butter, you will LOVE this!
Chocolate Mint Shake
I, personally, am not a fan of mint chocolate. That being said, this ticked all the boxes for a good chocolate mint shake.
Baklava with Ice Cream
I have been a fan of the baklava made by Cafe Arabia. The pastry is crisp on the outside, soft on the inside, and is rich with the flavors of honey, cinnamon and nuts. This one is a slight variation of the one they serve at their outlets, shaped like a cup to hold the ice cream. Its good, but felt a bit dense at the inside base of the cup. I prefer the one they serve at the outlet.
Dark Chocolate Tart with Mediterranean Sea Salt
An absolute masterpiece of a dessert, this one is to DIE for! The tart is beautifully crumbly, and the dark chocolate filling is so gooey, it should be a crime! With just the right amount of bitterness creeping through, it makes this such an amazing dessert.
However, the coup de grâce was the sprinkling of the sea salt. That salt cuts through the chocolate like a hot knife through butter, leaving you salivating for more!
Sinful, decadent, major win!
Overall, a great place to chill if you are in the NIBM area. Great stuff!
I was invited to be part of blogger’s table. The Usual Disclaimer applies.