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Yemeni cuisine has truly surfaced in Virginia now that there are three places to go. And I saw a sign in Bailey's Crossroads that Saba in Fairfax is opening a second branch.
House of Mandi is a gracious, serious place to try out the breadth of Yemeni cuisine. As I was alone, I ordered only the salta with halba on top. Salta was a big boiliing pot dominated by okra and potatoes. The halba is the bitter whipped fenugreek topping. The proprietor, though, felt like I needed more (not more food, just a selection) and brought on over some lamb chops with mandi (seasoned rice and fried onions) and some biryani on the house.
Just the salta and naan was a ridiculous amount of food, so now I felt a bit overwhelmed as well as grateful. The food made me interested in coming back, particularly on the weekend when a couple of weekend-only specials are available: zorbian which features smoked rice layered with potatoes and yogurt, and a sayadiah featuring golden pomfret with layers of rice and lemon saffron seasoning.
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