Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Touring Middle East 4: Dining Under Starlight

We wanted to reward ourselves after an exhausting day at the Petra, so for dinner, we ditched the buffet at the restaurant downstairs at our hotel and opted to eat at the lush Al Ghadeer on the rooftop. With the temperature dropping significantly in the evening and on a clear night, we just thought that’s a good idea to chill and relax, and try something different.

The place was as posh as you would expect in any of the nice resort. With the hotel being the highest building in the proximity, the view on the top floor was gorgeous, overlooking the main entrance of Petra on one side and the bedouin village on the hilly slope on the other.

We began with the hot and cold mezzah dishes, similar to the one we had previously at Medeba except maybe a tad bit fancier. I particularly enjoyed the bowl of tabbouleh being passed around with the finely chopped fresh herbs mixed with green vegetables, bulgar wheat and tomatoes for the refreshing aroma and crunchy texture.

The main course was done at the outdoor charcoal grill, cooked to order while we were having our appetizers. We asked for a little bit of everything and served family-style. On the big platter we got a mixed Arabic grill completed with chicken shish, kufta, lamb kebab and lamb chops. There were also the beef medallion and shrimps. They were done with just a touch of salt and served with BBQ sauce, pretty much western style and on par with hotel-quality dishes anywhere.

But my favorite was the grilled whole “denise fish” (local species similar to sea bream) served with black olives and chili tomato sauce. The slow-grilling crisped the skin and kept the meat inside moist and flavorful.

Dessert was served as a platter of a few local sweets in individual portion - Muhalabiya looked similar to a panna cotta topped with rose syrup; Haresah was the semolina cake glazed with sweet syrup, and Warbat which is a phyllo-style cake. Then there’s the mixed fruit in a shot glass. We went for a local wine for our dinner and I must say it fared better than I expected. That’s no Hermitage but the Shiraz from Jordan River winery worked just fine for the straight-forward fruity flavor.

Food-wise it’s probably not the best barbecue dinner we have ever had, but the ambiance was unbeatable, dining under the starlight with a near-full moon shining on us surrounded by the mountain ranges and all those history in the mystic city of Petra.

When? October 3 2017
Where? Al Ghadeer, Movenpick Resort Petra, Tourism Street, Wadi Musa (Petra), Jordan
Menu Highlights? Grilled whole denise fish with black olives and chili tomato sauce
Drinks? 2015 Jordan River Classic Shiraz

(Touring Middle East - Part 4)

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