Sunday, October 27, 2013

New York: Aden Restaurant

Aden Restaurant is one of two Yemeni restaurants in Astoria on Steinway, which is an area with a lot of Middle Eastern restaurants, shops, and food carts.

We got the usual maraq soup to start out and some salad and tea.  For the main dishes, we had chicken ogda and lamb zerbian.  Both were good but the ogda was a potato version without tomatoes.  The bread was freshly made and good.  They do not serve Yemeni dessert here.

Overall it was a good meal but not as good as other Yemeni restaurants in New York City.


Aden Restaurant
24-42 Steinway St
Astoria, NY 11103
(718) 777-3131

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Philadelphia: Kanella

Kanella is a Greek restaurant but is the closest I could find to Yemeni food in Philadelphia.  On the menu, they have "Malohwa" in the breakfast/lunch section with the description, "pan fried savory puff pastry from Yemen, served with a boiled egg, spicy tomato salad and Greek yogurt."

Malawah bread is my favorite Yemeni bread and the version at Kanella was perfect and soft.  This was delicious!  If you would like to try some Yemeni bread, this is the place to go in Philadelphia!

1001 Spruce St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 922-1773

Sunday, October 20, 2013

New York: Yemen Cuisine (Matam Al-Wahda)

Yemen Cuisine (Matam Al-Wahda مطعم الوحدة) really looks like a hole-in-the-wall more than the other Yemeni restaurants in New York.  I had to convince my not-so-adventurous friends to enter.  The restaurant was pretty empty when we entered but by the end of our meal it was lively and full of people.

We got maraq soup and salad at the beginning as usual.  The maraq soup was the usual.  The salad had a new dressing I haven't seen before and it was light and good.

For the main dishes, we got chicken ogda and lamb zerbian (called lamb kebsa here).  The chicken ogda was quite different from every other ogda I've ever had.  It wasn't shavings of chicken meat, instead it was more like cubes of chicken.  The sauce was thick with some spices I couldn't recognize and not so tomato based.  It was good but different.  The lamb kebsa came with a lot of meat and not so much rice!  It was good but the rice wasn't as fluffy as I like it.

The fresh bread was great and soft as I like it.  The sahawiq was particularly spicy here.

At the end we had some tea which was the same as all the other New York restaurants.  They do not make any Yemeni dessert here.  The staff were kind but a bit indifferent.  $36 for 3 people.

After sampling all the Yemeni restaurants in the Atlantic Avenue area of Brooklyn, I like Hadramout Restaurant the best in the Atlantic Avenue area.

Yemen Cuisine
145 Court St
(between Atlantic Ave & Pacific St)
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Neighborhood: Cobble Hill
+1 (718) 624-9325

Friday, October 11, 2013

New York: Yemen Restaurant

Yemen Restaurant (مطعم اليمن) was a wonderful, serendipitous find in Bay Ridge.  We had originally planned to go to Bab Al Yemen but then discovered it was closed!  By a stroke of fate, my friend was late so while I was waiting for him, I started wandering around the area and found Yemen Restaurant.  With no reviews on Yelp, I thought it didn't really exist.  I thought I was seeing things so I took a photo before heading back to find my friend to bring him there.  The restaurant was still there when I got back and still open even though it was kinda late!

We started off with the maraq soup as usual.  We also got the simple salad which had some ranch dressing and sahawiq.  Both were great.

Next we got two main dishes: chicken ogda and lamb zerbian.  I really liked the lamb zerbian.  The flavors in the rice were amazing, and the lamb was perfectly tender.  This was really excellent.

We finished the meal with Yemeni tea and some dessert, called sabayah.  It's thin layers of pastry bread with butter in between and Yemeni honey on top.  This was my first time trying it and I really liked the middle parts that were extra soft.

The kind Yemeni man was really extremely kind and I told them I was missing one of my favorite drinks from Qatar, called karak, and so he made it for me!  It was perfect.

Everyone was so friendly in this restaurant and the other Yemeni guys eating there also spoke with us and gave us some good tips about Yemeni food.  Overall, this was a really wonderful meal and experience.  $36 for 2 people (but the amount of food we ordered could feed 3-4 people).

Yemen Restaurant
6726 5th Ave
(at Senator St)
Brooklyn, NY 11220
Neighborhood: Bay Ridge
+1 (718) 748-4500

Friday, October 4, 2013

New York: Arth Aljanatain

Arth Aljanatain (مطعم أرض الجنتين) is an amazing Yemeni restaurant in the Bronx.  "Arth Aljanatain" means "the land of two gardens" and there are two murals of gardens inside the restaurant!

Arth Aljanatain was absolutely wonderful!  We got maraq soup and salad (had Ranch dressing...!) as the starters.  As we had a vegetarian in the group, this gave me a great opportunity to order some of the non-meat dishes that I usually don't order.  So I asked for fasolia beans and shakshouka (these are actually breakfast items).  The fasolia beans were wonderful and in the traditional black clay pot.  The shakshouka came out as some eggs on top of cubed tomato... not quite shakshouka but still good.

We also got fish ogda and lamb mandi.  The fish ogda was perfectly made and absolutely amazing!!  The lamb mandi was also full of flavor and soft with perfectly fluffy rice.  The bread was freshly made and hot.  I liked the sahawiq here since it wasn't that spicy.   As they did not have any dessert available, we ended the meal with some Yemeni spice tea and we were all very happy.  $67 for 7 people.

Arth Aljanatain
700 Rhinelander Ave
Bronx, NY 10462
Neighborhood: Van Nest
+1 (718) 918-9191

Thursday, October 3, 2013

New York: Hoomoos Asli

The Yemeni-Yemenite conundrum continued today.  One of my favorite parts of Yemeni cuisine is the mystical pastry bread, called malawah.  It's soft and fluffy goodness and is a something between a croissant and flatbread.  It's amazing.

Yet, for some reason, I haven't seen this bread in a Yemeni restaurant outside of the Middle East.  Malawah (often also spelled mellawach) seems to be a common item at Yemenite restaurants though.  Hoomoos Asli has some Yemenite malawah sandwiches on their menu so naturally investigation was in order.

We decided to order the original version of the malawah sandwich.  It was amazing and I almost cried I was so happy to be tasting malawah again.  The Hoomoos Asli version was even more soft and gooey than usual, just how I like it!

Hoomoos Asli
100 Kenmare St
(between Mulberry St & Mott St)
New York, NY 10012
Neighborhoods: Little Italy, Nolita
+1 (212) 966-0022