Eight Chowhounds got together to test out the Yemeni food at this new restaurant in Fairfax.
The menu seemed limited. There were three dishes served on a bed of seasoned rice and crisped onions. One was hanith, a savory roast lamb, and the other two were listed as mandi; one was a roast chicken and the other a boiled lamb shank, which came out rather plain. I probably liked the chicken best.
Then there were two similar stews. One was salta, a beef stew that came out bubbling over dramatically in a stone pot with a generous helpng of hulba on top. Hulba is a whipped fenugreek condiment. For anyone who thinks that Ferran Adria created foam dishes, they have another thing coming. Hulba is the original foam. But they really used a lot of fenugreek, and it was bitter. Good for fans of bitter! The other stew was vegetables only, served in the same manner. It wasn't as satisfying.
They started us off with a lemony salad, and we ordered maraq, a lamb broth.
The restaurant has an extensive list of breakfast dishes (they open at 10am) which they do not serve the rest of the day, but we were able to order a shredded bread dish with dates and honey that is normally for breakfast. This was a big bowl of sweet and chewy bread. Not all that good.
My other experience eating yemeni food iss at Al Jazera in the Skyline area of Falls Church. I've been there several times. It's a bigger menu. Although lamb is hardly their strong suit, I have to say I like it much better. Plus it's cheaper.
This is the report from 2010 (not that long ago!) about Al Jazera:
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