Meal fit for a King or SULTAN in Hastings, Christ Church: Middle Eastern restaurant at Barbados’ Lanterns Mall (BTW – Subway’s due in Barbados soon)
Barbadians have been awaiting the arrival of US franchise Subway since March, then pledged for July, for the new Lanterns Mall in Hastings, Christ Church and one of the first denizens was RBTT and many folk are still getting accustomed not to rush by Hastings Plaza when withdrawing or depositing…
Now it seems that the healthy food chain which boasts a weight-loss icon of Jared won’t be ready until the end of 2010? But it may be sooner as the place appears fully equipped now rather than mere logo in sticker and neon formats…
But who cares? There’s a Food Court at Lanterns and for me the bright spot is Sultan Restaurant which offers genuine Middle East cuisine and at reasonable prices! They also play real Middle eastern music from the region including hits from Egypt.
The chef has only been in Barbados for two months and he is very efficient and very thorough, he washes his hands after each stage of preparing your meal, and since he works in an open area you can actually see him in action while you wait!
I ordered a Beef Shawarma Wrap and Tabbouly Salad (This is Bulgar wheat softened with warm water and seasoned with lime, olive oil, and black pepper mixed with chopped tomato, grape leaves and parsley), they were out of Kibbe (Which is kind of a beef version of fishcakes, except the beef is inside separate from the pastry covering usually made of wholewheat and pine nuts) so I have another delightful excuse to return! The meal plus a Coke was under $20!
What is a Shawarma wrap then? An American or Mexican would think of it as a Middle Eastern burrito, while many Caribbean would see it as a different kind of roti with pickles and garlic. The pita bread is dipped in the gravy of the beef it contains and seared quickly, then the ingredients are inserted and rolled into a compact bar before one final singe on an open flame.
It was not salty, nor was the salad, but very pungent and delightfully pithy to my taste buds which have been numbed with what many Barbadians allow to pass for a roti nowadays – yellow meat and either too much or too little gravy in a bland thick dough – no geera – and curry seems to be not even nostalgia but an extinct epoch in Barbadian flavour. Kuchela also seems to be disappearing from the landscape…
“You can reach me by caravan, cross the desert like an Arab man
I don’t care how you get here, just – get here if you can“
I would get there by Camel, man! Thank Allah for this new bright spot in Barbadian culinary arts, I will visit Sultan Restaurant often!
I won’t be hustling over to Indian Grill soon though – I was there a few days ago and had ordered a Pork roti, when i got home and ate? There were not one but TWO large bone chunks in my dhal pastry with very fatty meat, this Bay Street place is going downhill fast!