Weekend exclusive: Explore the flavours of the Middle East at Mosaic, Mandarin Oriental KL, courtesy of Chef Ali El Bourji from Dubai.

Chef Ali El Bourji from Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai is serving up a variety of Lebanese delicacies from August 17 to 20 at Mosaic.

If Middle Eastern cuisine intrigues and ignites your senses, look no further than Mandarin Oriental’s Lebanese spread.

This weekend, Mosaic’s grand buffet is given a special twist by guest Chef Ali El Bourji – a Beirut native who carved a name for himself in several world-renowned hotels before becoming Executive Oriental Head Chef at Atlantis, The Palm in 2008.

Our journey began with a medley of hot and cold appetisers, including the popular Lebanese Fattoush Salad, incorporating the fresh flavours of tomato, capsicum, crispy pita, and sumac, topped with a sharp mix of apple vinegar, pomegranate molasses, and olive oil. This was followed by the most delicately balanced, smooth Hommous we’ve had, complemented by an array of Lebanese flat breads and other soups and salads.

Chef Ali’s signature baked puff pastry Ouzi rice is a warm mix of minced lamb, chicken, and rice baked in light puff pastry with Lebanese spices, pistachio, pine seeds, green peas, raisins, and mint.

No Middle Eastern culinary experience is complete without the hearty mix grill, which came alive at the Mosaic station to offer flavourful diced lamb tenderloin (lamb brochette) and smoky chargrilled chicken breast fillets (Shish Taouk) marinated in the finest Lebanese spice blends.

The delicious meaty fare geared us up for rice and seafood in the main courses, of which the standout items included Chef Ali’s signature baked puff pastry Ouzi rice and savoury Arabic meatballs, Dawood Basha.

Kebbeh mabroumeh.

As for dessert? Well, we were delighted to set our eyes on a wide selection of creamy, fried and even spicy Lebanese sweets. Mouhalabiya with apricot combines the fruit with rice, milk, sugar and rose water for a tasty, layered treat, while the surprising Spice Pudding Meghli is a cold rice flour pudding carrying the warm, distinct flavours of cinnamon, caraway, coconut, and pine nuts.

You can enjoy this buffet of Lebanese delights at RM158 (lunch) or RM188 (dinner) per person. Call 03-2179 8881 or e-mail mokul-mosaic@mohg.com to make a reservation.


Images courtesy of Mandarin Oriental KL.