Jakarta, TOPNews Indonesia –
Food Lebanon is not a foreign food for Indonesians. There are several names of Lebanese-style restaurants in Jakarta complete with all their special menus.
But not all of them can provide a dining experience like in a real restaurant in Lebanon. That afternoon, just before breaking the fast, the AL Nafoura restaurant at the Le Meridien hotel was quite busy. After checking the temperature, still wearing masks, keeping our distance, using hand sanitizers, and scanning the barcode for registration, we hurriedly wandered about seeing all the food served buffet-style.
Even though at that time, Le Meridien was doing renovations in several parts, this did not dampen the intention of the chefs under the command of Chef de Cuisine Ahmad Moussa to present a variety of authentic Lebanese specialties.
“AL Nafoura means a fountain. This restaurant has been established since 1998,” said Moussa on the sidelines of a break after breaking the fast some time ago.
While taking off his hat of pride, and occasionally wiping his sweat, he enthusiastically shared that in order to create everything from culinary to authentic ambience, many ‘accessories’ are indeed imported from Lebanon. Even including Moussa himself came from Lebanon.
Like European food, Lebanon also has appetizers, aka starters. But not soup, but cold appetizer or cold mezzeh.
In order to maintain cleanliness, you don’t need to take all the food yourself. The staff on duty at each food station will bring you all the food you want.
As a fast-starter, flat, round pita bread is the right size for an appetizer (as in general, pita bread is large enough to start with and ends up as leftovers). This pita bread can be eaten with the addition of various side dishes such as hommos, moutabel, babaganoush, tabouleh, labneh kishkeh, mohamara, makali ma tahini sauce, and others.
Actually, without any additions, this pita bread already has its own ‘taste’. Don’t imagine it will taste like salty bread or sweet bread. No, but more like white bread with a texture that is not tough but sturdy. There was a smell of burnt from a wood-fired oven that wafted from the bread. Apparently, Moussa confirmed that this bread was baked in a wood-fired oven in the traditional way.
“The wood uses rambutan wood.”
Rambutan wood itself has long been known to give a delicious aroma to food that is burned with this wood.
Photo: Le Meridien Archives
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