Habibi at Rajouri Garden, Delhi is a Mediterranean-Moroccan-Lebanese casual dining space, this theme restaurant is an important address at the place buzzing with restaurants and pubs. Habibi specialize in authentic as well as, Lebanese cuisine with a twist.
The restaurant which is owned by fashion Tv brand is situated on first floor and is very spacious and the décor is true to its theme-very middle eastern, with Turkish lamps, and Arabic artefacts, Comfy sitting area, Dim lights, led screen a relative small bar, Arabic music playing in the background adds the exotic touch to the ambiance. I quite like the life size painting of a belly dancer on a central wall right opposite the entrance.
We were welcomed by Chef Aman and he explained us all about the concept and the food they were serving and played the perfect host, he only decided the menu for us and explained each dish with great passion which showed his dedication and involvement.
let’s talk about the food :
Habibi serves the delicious Middle East food with a twist.as soon as we made ourselves comfortable on the leather couch we were served with. the appetizers starting with the one-bite Cottage Cheese and Spinach Fatayer (Arabic oven baked rolls – Juliennes sprinkled with Sumac) along with Lebanese dips with Lavash. And then there was Kebab Shandar, made of minced Beetroots and prepared with authentic Arabic Aromatic Spices; crispyfrom outside it just melted in my mouth as good kebabs are supposed to and changed the definition of bBeet root for me. The Cheese Manakish (Arabian Pizza) with Halloumi cheese and Morrocon Bokharat spices was another great dish. The Arabian cheese giving it a very distinctive flavour.to accompany it we also called for mocktail, I ordered for the lasorange, a refreshing mocktail with fresh orange juice, basil leaves, jasmine tea, lemonade and sweet n soul, served in a little glass with basil floating on it. Though we all were teetotallers, Chef Aman still arranged for a display of their signature cocktail – the Flaming Lamborghini.
For the main course, we were sereved Soya Tagine (Exotic Moroccan marinated Veggies bruised on slow flame served with herb rice, served in Morrocan Tagine Pot). Aman had specially prepared the veggie for us and this really was the hero of the the meal We also had Moroccon Khudar (Vegetable Cooked in Tomato Gravy, Moroccan and Zaffer Spices, and Sumal Powder).
During the meal Chef Aman while providing us of the info about the Habibi cuisine also explained us spices used for the special Middle East flavours, which is as follows:
Zaffer Spices – Blend in Zaffer Bitter Leaves and Sesame Seed
Sumal Powder – Pomegranate Dry seeds Powder
Bokharat – Blend in Whole Spices
Bhorat – Blend in Whole Spices
Now it was time for my favourite part of the meal- desserts. We were served with three exotic desserts. Basbusa (Arabic Coconut flavoured sweet cake – baked and sweetened by flavourful sugar syrup), Sponge Bob Balls (spongy cake balls dipped in flavourful essence and dark chocolate) and Ruz Bil Hali (Arabic rice pudding flavoured with saffron) were the three to die for desserts that we tried. However Ruz Bin Hali was more of our desi Phirni made in a Middle Eastern style. Basbusa, was super and I relished the strong coconut flavor, spongy choco coated bob balls were divine and soul satisfying.
So guys if you are looking for a eat out and try different flavors of Middle eastern food this is the place to be.
cost for two: INR 1500/-
Where: Rajouri Garden, main road, Delhi.
Pics by Pradeep Chamaria Photography – exatraveller. Pics by Parej Chamaria, and Pradeep Chamaria.
A little about Chef Aman:
We met Chef Amanjeet Singh during our visit to Habibi, Rajouri Gardens and were he was with us for most of our journey through his amazing creations. Habibi is is designed with a modern perspective. Food at Habibi takes you through an inimitable story of food and culture through a colorful and flavorful palette of cuisines. The restaurant is spread across 3000 sq. ft. and offers capacity of more than 200 guests with an interactive Kitchen, well stocked bar and designated smoking area.
With exotic Arabic decor and a warm, inviting, contemporary space offering a relaxed lounging experience, Habibi aims to create a delightful atmosphere for each guest with its authentic character accentuated with live entertainment.
Habibi’s Chef Amanjeet Singh has a mission. Chef Aman is most well known for his daily appearances on Good Chef Bad Chef, however there is more to his career. Unlike many chefs, Aman hasn’t always dreamed of being behind the pots and pans. In fact, cooking was used to pay for his karate lessons, as he wanted to become a martial artist. However, this dream didn’t last long, as he suddenly found his calling as a chef.
Aman’s heritage includes “a melange of North African, Middle Eastern ,European , Indian, Mediterranean, novelle cuisine”, which has influenced his passion for quality food that’s packed with flavour. Aman discovered a passion for food at the age of 14 on a trip of Durban, South Africa, while going for a party with his group in evening, he found a African guy doing BBQ party in his lawn and Amanjeet observed that guy doing flambe to a beef steak with brandy who’s flame was changing color due to the evaporation of alcohol. Those colors changed his colors of life and he decided to get know about it, He spoke to his father and he got a slap from him and he said in abusing words my son and (bawarchi) cook, not even in dreams, but he stood strong with his dream and goal of life and then began with his illustrious career as an apprentice chef at Chore Bazare Restaurant, Old Delhi, Delhi’s well know restaurant for Kashmiri food. And put his foots in Hyatt Regency hotel from there to holiday inn group from there chef Aman became a part of many new pre-opening restaurants with many new different concepts and food .
His food expresses his way of living and personality, on other hand he his man with quality of surprise elements. Always on the lookout for inspiration and ideas, chef Aman describes himself as an avid traveller who spends his holidays eating his way through food regions all over the globe.