Cuisine: Middle Eastern, International, Mediterranean
Location: East Perth, Bennett St
When I had first visited Grill & Chill Indian Restaurant, I not only discovered an area of East Perth unbeknownst to me, but also a few other restaurants close by which I was interested in trying. Today, I visited one of those restaurants for dinner – Q International Cuisine. I had attended a leaving drinks for one of my colleagues and was starting to get really hungry as the hours passed by so I bid farewell and left. It was either a trip home or grab dinner first, the latter option was better. I walked in and got a table and then had a look at the menu. The menu is a little eclectic, representing Middle Eastern, French, Italian and Australian cuisines, but I guess this represents the ‘international’ in Q International Cuisine. I’m really interested in Middle Eastern cuisine so I asked the waiter for some recommendations and in the end, ordered a little too much but it was fortunate I was able to take the leftovers home.
Cold Entree – Baba Ganuj $12
Mashed baked eggplants delicately mixed with sesame paste Farmers way
I really liked the baba ganuj which had a slight smokey taste of the eggplants, but a real freshness to the dish. They also provided a little dish of hummus and a basked of pita bread which seemed never ending as each piece I took, the pile didn’t seem to shrink. Spreading the baba ganuj over the bread and eating was really tasty. The moistness was enjoyable, but I particularly liked the addition of the pomegranate. As you bite in and get the pomegranate seeds, they explode with juice, a touch of sweetness, and some acidity which adds another dimension to the dish. The hummus has a distinct flavour of the chick peas which creates a certain heaviness in the dip. Like the baba ganuj, the presence of the pomegranate seeds also has the same effect, adding additional flavour to compliment the dip. The hit of garlic is also apparent, but carefully controlled, such that the garlic flavour is evident, but not so intense that it leaves a garlic taste in your mouth. Enjoyed with the pita bread, it went down a treat.
Hot Entree – Fried Kibbeh $15 (5 pieces)
Pureed lamb meat mixed with crushed wheat, stuffed with minced meat, golden fried to perfection
This dish looked really interesting and tasted excellent. The little oval shaped kibbeh have a slight crunch on the outside but then encase a minced filling. The filling is moist, spiced but is quite subtle, and you can taste the slight graininess of the wheat which adds body to the dish. After eating through 5 of these, I was pretty full. They’re very filling and pack a punch. I was expecting a stronger intensity in flavour, maybe because of my Indian background, but the kibbeh carry enough flavour without being intense.
Mains – Mix Grill $28
- Shish Taouk – chicken breast cubes marinated in our special Mediterranean spices
- Shish Kebab – lamb cubes simply seasoned with salt and pepper
- Kofta Kebab – minced lamb mixed with Italian parsley, Spanish onions and our special spices
- Served with rice, hummus, and mayonnaise
I was interested in trying the different skewered meats and was happy to see they have a mixed grill so I can sample them all. The mix grill was served as I was nearly finishing the hot and cold entrees. There’s quite a bit on the plate – 2 kofta kebab skewers and 1 each of Shish Taouk and Shish Kebab, plus the rice, salad, hummus, and mayonnaise. I was surprised at the bowl of mayonnaise which I thought was yoghurt, but the sweetness combined well with the Shish Kebab. There’s lots of meat on the plate so I started with the Shish Kebab which was nice and tender, but a little chewy. Might be they got a dodgy cut of meat, as can sometimes happen when you go to the shops and by a premium cut and then cook it to find out it’s not what you expected. As I ate my way through the kebabs, I was surprised at the subtleness of flavour. I really was expecting something much more intense, but I enjoyed the flavours nonetheless. I really loved the Shish Taouk which had a delicious flavour. The chicken was very tender and had a lovely flavour of the grill. I also liked the Kofta Kebab which had lovely, soft minced meat containing lovely flavours of the parsley and onion. The rice was spiced with light flavours and was really nice and moist. More hummus to be enjoyed with the pita breads and after eating the salad I was done. There was still a fair amount on the plate so I was most relieved that they were able to pack it away for me to take home. Talking to the staff, I had commented on the subtleness of the flavours which surprised me and they said that’s true Lebanese cuisine. If you use high quality meat, you let the flavours of the meat shine through with a little extra flavour from some light spices. Restaurants with heavy spice aim to mask the poor quality of the meat used.
Q International Food Review Summary
Verdict: Q International Cuisine offers something for everyone but has a menu mainly geared towards Middle Eastern, French, Mediterranean and Australian cuisines. I focused on dishes from a Middle Eastern background and started off with a refreshing, moist and tasty baba ganuj enjoyed with pita bread. I particularly enjoyed the addition of the pomegranate seeds adding a touch of sweetness and acidity to cut through the creamy flavour of the eggplant. The hummus had a strong chick pea flavour and also a hit of garlic, but it was carefully controlled to give the garlic flavour without the garlic breath. The fried kibbeh are a very meaty and filling dish. The kibbeh are slightly crunchy on the outside and contain a lightly spiced mince filling which is tasty but not intense in spice. The mixed grill presents a meat heavy dish offering a variety of skewered kebabs. I particularly liked the chicken flavoured Shish taouk and the herby flavours of the Kofta kebab. Once again, lightly spiced, subtle flavours that let the flavours of the meat shine through. The rice, salad, humuus and mayonnaise are additional elements to take the edge of the meatiness. I was stuffed and disappointed I couldn’t squeeze in a dessert. Tasty spice laden flavours without the intensity. Excellent meal in lovely surrounds with friendly staff.
Q International Cuisine Restaurant Details
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