If you want to explore grilled kebabs and kaftas, Al-Amar could be the ideal restaurant.
Located in the building right beside the Meena Bazar outlet in Dhanmondi 27, Al-Amar has been serving authentic Lebanese dishes for almost five years.
When we entered the restaurant, our temperatures were checked and hand sanitisers were promptly sprayed onto our hands.
We noticed quite a few customers inside, it seemed that after months of remaining indoors, Dhaka residents have started eating out.
The ambiance was quiet, other than the Arabic music playing in the background. The polished, dark furniture with hints of golden gave off an elegant vibe.
We tried the hummus (Tk335), the standard mixed grill (Tk1350++) and the sweet labang (Tk155).
Both the hummus (boiled chickpeas blended with sesame and lemon juice) and the grill came with complimentary Lebanese bread. Extra bread costs Tk25 a piece.
The hummus tasted rich, creamy and tangy. The olive oil drizzled on top was a fine touch. The breads were fresh and went well with the hummus.
The standard mixed grill contained one lahem mechwe skewer (grilled beef tenderloin skewers), one chick tawouk skewer (grilled boneless chicken breast), one chicken tikka skewer, one chicken kafta and one lamb kafta.
There were two dips with the grill, a barbecue sauce and a garlic sauce. On one side of the plate was a bit of fresh salad made from carrots, onions and sumac.
Sumac is a fragrant spice used in most middle-eastern dishes as a substitute for lemon juice. It has a distinct citrusy taste.
The lahem mechwe almost melted in our mouths and the smoky flavour was delicious. Almost like sheesh kebab but not as fatty.
The chick tawouk was tender and not spicy, they can be eaten on their own. The chicken tikka was flavourful too.
You could create your version of a shawarma by wrapping the chicken pieces with the Lebanese bread and adding a little salad and sauce. The hummus is also a refreshing touch to the meaty affair.
The chicken kafta and the lamb kafta were absolutely delicious, they were soft and had just the right amount of spices.
You could taste the mint, garlic and onions minced with the meat and the flavours were spot on. The lamb kafta was a winner for us with its unique taste.
The grill platter is not spicy or heavily seasoned, a good thing to try out if you have grown tired of eating beef curries and beef bhunas during Eid-ul-Azha.
The sweet labang is a slightly thick yoghurt drink, almost like "lassi".
However, it might taste too heavy with a meaty platter such as this one. In that case, our suggestion would be to order a soda or plain water.
Al-Amar is open seven days a week, from 1pm to 10pm. Home delivery is available through Foodpanda. A new outlet in Gulshan 2 will be opened soon.