Sunday, August 10, 2014

To hype or not to hype: Qbara

So it's been one of those weekends where I haven't moved out of my bed. Not because I'm lazy but since there's been a coughing-sneezing-blockage-stuffiness-headache-the-works-type-of-situation. Oh yeah. Fab combo

With that beautiful image in mind, I've been meaning to try this place for a long long time but that applies to a lot of places and keeping up can be a tad bit difficult.

I've heard a lot about Qbara! From the dishes to the atmosphere to the music, pretty much everything has been very positively 'hyped'. The other day, I got around for a quick Saturday night dinner with a friend. I'm sure you already knew that from my Instagram ;)

Here's my take on whether Qbara lives up to it's hype.

I really liked the fact that Qbara was located somewhere a little different. Super easy to find when you're in the wafi/pyramids area.

The venue itself was gorgeous! Absolutely gorgeous. Beautifully warm dim lighting, cool light projections against a huge wall, amazing music with remixed slow jams... just what I like. The place itself wasn't busy so a heads up for you, we were notified Tuesdays & Thursdays are the busiest so plan in advance if you're heading on those days.

We were seated upstairs. On the way to our table, we passed by the wine bar, enjoyed the glass window edges overlooking the downstairs seating area and the hues of purple/blue/pink light projections on the giant wall.

I've heard a couple of recommended small dishes so without any time to waste, we ordered the 'Crispy soft shell crab "saj", garlic & harissa and the 'Lobster kibbeh with fresh herbs, avocado labneh'.

Soft shell crab was amazing! Seriously good. The crab meat tasted really fresh and tender. The texture resembled a falafel because of the crunch factor. The harissa was the perfect added kick - not too spicy, I actually could have had it a little spicier - but can definitely suit all. The garlic wasn't overpowering either, and trust me, I love me a hit of garlic. Also, great portion. Highly, highly recommended.

Kibbeh was good. I am a huge fan of kubba (how we pronounce it in Iraqi). I always remember my grandma hand making her delicious kubba, which nothing can beat, even Qbara - sorry :) Anyways, these were crunchy, had a decent amount of lobster - not dry at all, and that avocado labneh was yummy! If you know me by now, you know I love me some avocados. It's hard to ignore it on any menu I see. The labneh was creamy with chunks of avocado and swirled in olive oil. Nice topping to the kibbeh.

Our main was a shared pot of "Chicken tagine, preserved lemon, apricot & walnuts" with a side of (I don't remember the exact name but this is what it was) Spiced brown rice with puy lentils & fried onions.

Delicious! Succulent generous portions of chicken, balanced flavors of spices, fruits, nuts and a delightful addition of cooked quinces (similar to pears)! The rice went so well with this dish. I highly recommend this combo if you are looking for vibrant flavors with a twist but keeping true to authentic Moroccan palette. I absolutely love dishes with fruit, nuts and spices - have grown up eating such types of dishes and can't get enough.

Although I regret it now, we were just way too full at the time to order any dessert. Another excuse to go visit Qbara now :)

As for the service, it was great. Food came really fast and all the waiters were quite knowledgable of the menu.

For good quality food with generous portions, great service & music, and a clear concept of original dishes with an added twist, let the hype continue about Qbara!


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