Middle Eastern and North African cuisine has well and truly been pinned on the culinary map recently. Alongside the few big names that I don’t need to mention, there is one Australian-born, Lebanese magician who has walked around more ancient towns and cities than most of us, and sits high above the current trend that has been sweeping Western cities.
The passion, desire and commitment from Chef Gregory Malouf to discover what this part of the world has to offer has led to the publication of seven cookery books and multiple successful restaurants, with his latest residency at Clé in Dubai. He has brought to Australia, the UK and most recently Dubai, his interpretation of Middle Eastern food so we can stop frowning and shrugging at ingredients such as freekeh, barberries, sumac, urfa, za’atar, orange blossom, ras el hanout and many, many more. Instead this chef’s approach has allowed us to embrace the exotic gastronomy of the East.
In a small but massively beautiful pub on The King’s Road, thanks to a one-off residency, I was treated to a feast that moved the senses to the East and beyond. If any lucky travellers or Australians had the chance to eat at Momo (Melbourne, Australia 2000-2012) you may be familiar with the finesse and flavour that Malouf brings to the table.