If you’ve been following the blog regularly you know I’ve been on a #FollowTheFoodie trail with +GourmetItUp Concierge trying their menu at various restaurants. I started the series with an outstanding meal at Oh:Cha followed by a delightful Chinese meal at Hakkasan and while I thought the third experience would be Asian perhaps Japanese or even Indian I was pleasantly surprised.
Aqaba, which is a restaurant named after a coastal city in Jordan, was my third and final food destination and as the name suggests, the cuisine is Middle Eastern. The restaurant is quite large and has a lovely garden area where you could dine as well though it’s on the 5th floor so it’s more of a terrace garden. The Gourmet It up menu is a 3 course meal where you choose two appetizers ( soup salad or mezze ) one main course and one dessert. So when you’re two people dining, it’s 8 dishes on the table and believe me it’s plenty.
I adore hummus and I find it increasingly difficult to get smooth creamy hummus so the first thing I chose was their regular hummus and then I got greedy and opted for their hummus with lamb (Hummus Ghunam ) and I asked for lavash with both instead of pita. Hummus is heavy and the perfect starter but after a while you realize you can’t eat so much so sadly, we weren’t able to finish both but the one with lamb was brilliant.
I tried their Orange and Walnut Salad which was disappointing. I’m not sure how Middle Eastern this is but I thought it would be nice to have a salad but the salad could have been tossed better, the oranges could have been cut smaller and peeled completely and the feta was strictly average. In hindsight I wish I had opted for one of their other mezzes because I have eaten them before and really enjoyed them.
My mum didn’t think the salad was so bad and ate most of it but I went back to my beautiful hummus ( both of them ) and the Shish Taouk which is skewered chicken with onions bell peppers and sumac and I thought it was delicious.
The is a lot to choose from in the main course and after painstakingly agonizing over our choices, I opted for the Beef kebabs served with potatoes and a Turkish Pizza ( Lahmacum ) which had minced beef, onion, tomato, parsley and feta. The beef kebabs were big and thick served with potatoes but I felt they were a tad bit too spicy. While I love beef and enjoy a good kebab I thought this was good but nothing to write home about.
I was however blown away by the Turkish Pizza. I think beef mince is another ingredient I’m very partial to but not just that I think everything worked in this very unusual pizza. For one it’s not got tomato sauce and soft bread with oodles of cheese melting on it like a traditional pizza does. Even the pizza base is thicker and very different but I love it. We were stuffed but we made sure not to waste a single piece. It’s best eaten pipping hot so don’t wait till it cools because it tastes much better straight out of the oven.
Dessert was a praline and bitter chocolate mousse and baked yogurt served with a berry compote on top. Mum devoured the chocolate but I really enjoyed this hung curd and ricotta cheese dessert. I think it’s much better and way more interesting than a boring cheesecake.
Three different meals, Three different restaurants and three very different experiences but all yielding the exact same result. Would I visit the restaurant again – Yes. Would I opt for their Gourmet It Up menu ? – In a heartbeat !