ENAK is all about a taste of Malaysia. So we do tend to visit Indian, Chinese and Malay restaurants on our monthly food treks. Of course, we've tried a few others, such as Vietnamese, Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi and others in the past.
September Enak was held at Wadi Hadramawt, a Yemeni restaurant on Jalan Ampang. It is a hidden gem tucked away in a car lot.
How does a Yemeni restaurant tie in with ENAK? Or Malaysia?
Maybe you've noticed that there is more than one "Hadramawt" in Kuala Lumpur. It's not a chain owned by one family. These restaurants are run by those who hail from the Hadramawt region which is located on the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. The people of the region are called Hadhrami and speak Hadhrami Arabic.
Yemenis have long been a part of the Malaysian landscape. Traders and missionaries from Yemen have definitely made their mark on and in the country. The royal House of Perlis is a family descended from Hadhramis. And south of Perlis, in Penang's Georgetown, Lebuh Aceh was the center of a thriving Arabic and Islamic community.
This lovely restaurant does boast a bit of Ampang history. It is one of the older, original buildings still standing along the main road that was once tree-lined and dotted with mansions.
It wasn't always a place for foodies. It once housed the well known Fatima Kindergarten when Jalan Ampang was a one lane road. Most recently, before the restaurant opened about seven years ago, it served as an office for a car dealership.
Light shines through the many gorgeous, colorful stained glass windows. Beautiful Arabic decor is everywhere. On the ceilings and on the walls.
Our meal began with the usual appetizers one might find in any Arabic restaurant. Hummus, moutabel and fattoush salad.
The mullawah (bread piping hot from the oven) was fabulous!
The main courses were typical and delicious Yemeni fare. The claypot dishes were Saltah (lamb dish) and Fahsa (egg, rice, veggies and gravy) along with chicken ogda (onion, fried garlic with tomato puree). All were well received!
Dessert was baked Arabic sweets and honey massoob. This dish had the consistency of oatmeal and was made with bananas and honey.
A good time was had by all. Many remarked that they had wanted to try the restaurant in the past so they were delighted to finally do so!
Hosted by Mary Arafeh