Once you order, the table quickly becomes filled with more than 10 mouth-watering dips and salads, from tahini and baba ghanoush
to green salad, along with freshly baked "baladi" (traditional Egyptian) bread.
Indeed, the Lebanese feast lived up to its name, as traditionally prepared tabbouleh, hummus, baba ghanoush
, chicken kebab, kafteh, rice, pita and homemade baklava graced each table.
Some of the products I source regularly from Lebanon includes mountain tomato, Romaine lettuce, eggplant - which we smoke and use for moutabal and baba ghanoush
- and fresh za'atar.
Bateel continues to marry Western influences with its quintessentially Middle Eastern touch, from the Baba Ghanoush
toast served alongside a classic salmon finger sandwich to Kholas Pecan Pie with a bite of traditional English fruitcake.
A TASTE OF LIVERPOOL: Simon Rimmer gets in some dancing practice with Lauren Davidson from food producer Baba Ghanoush
, right, while visitors and stallholders alike get into the swing of things at the Liverpool Food and Drink Festival, above and main picture PICTURES: JASON ROBERTS AND PETER BYRNE/PA
Check koshary, a plate made mainly of rice, lentils with caramelized onions and red spicy sauce, Mahshy, vegetable stuffed with rice, molokhia, the soup of the Nalta jute leaves, baba ghanoush
(a Levantine dish of eggplants and sesame paste also served in Egypt), and Egypt's famous ful, slow cooked black beans.
For starters we had hummus, moutabel, baba ghanoush
, tabouleh, and fattoush followed by lamb shank ouzi, Dawood Basha that is meatballs braised in tomato sauce, Batata Harra or spicy potatoes, Sawda Djej , that is chicken liver with pomegranate, and Dajaj Tajine that is chicken stew with olives and lemon confit.
Handfried crisps are served at HipChips with dips like veggie ceviche, baba ghanoush
or even creme brulee.
I was surprised; I think for most vegetarian and vegan Americans, when we think of Egypt, images of common Middle Eastern vegetarian cuisine come to mind, like smooth and creamy hummus, tabbouleh, baba ghanoush
On the starters menu choose from Baba Ghanoush
(grilled aubergine sesame sauce) tabboleh made with bulgar, falafel and fattoush salad and mixed meze platter.
For nonmeat eaters, there were the char-grilled sweet young carrots marinated in miso and served with baba ghanoush
and walnut pesto; and a verdant bowl of English peas and broad beans dappled with nuggets of smoked curd.
As in the much-loved Mediterranean dip baba ghanoush
, in which the vegetable is typically blended with onions, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice, eggplant makes an ideal alternative to hummus.