Tarbush – the Lebanese Food Specialist

Posted: August 15, 2009 in Food
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Tarbush, a restaurant specialising in Lebanese food, first opened its branches around KL. One of the feature shops is located at the ultra-luxe Starhill shopping centre so when Andrea first heard that a branch has opened in Penang, she was excited and insisted that we go there for a Friday night dinner. Located right in the heart of Batu Feringghi, it attracts both locals and tourists alike – however, be warned that parking spots are limited so it’s best to head there early plus be expected to pay RM3 for parking, ouch!

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We loved how the decor is a chic fusion of Middle Eastern influences but still sleek. Check out the gorgeous lighting feature right in the middle of the room surrounded by the bright red, circular sofa seating and purple cushions, talk about lush!

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Andrea was enamoured by all of the table tops which had custom built tiled mosaics imported from Syria which added a graceful touch to the interior. What’s even more fascinating is that the same intricate mosaics are embedded onto the floors as well.

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Not knowing much about Arabic food, I left the ordering to Andrea who promptly ordered up a storm.

First to arrive was the Mazze, a wide array of appetizers which best offer a sampling of the various salads and dips by Tarbush: hommus (chickpea dip), mutabal (eggplant dip), tabouleh (salad with chopped parsley), green salad (heavy sprinkling of lemon juice and olive oil) and wara alnab (rice stuffed vine leaves). They were all strongly flavoured with lemon juice and olive oil which immediately whetted our appetites for more. Who could have ever guessed that anything that tasted this good could actually be healthy for you!

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We were also provided with a complimentary starter of olives, pickles and interestingly enough, chilli padi (birds eye chilli) that we left well alone (the fresh chilli, not the rest of the starters). The staff willingly re-filled our bread basket with warm, fluffy bread which we used to mop up the yummy dips.

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I was a little apprehensive when Andrea ordered the Shish Kebab as it brought back memories of drunk uni nights and ordering lamb/beef kebabs from the 24 hour kebab stall. Far from the greasy foiled wrapped packets of charred meat with generous squirts of ketchup, we were both pleasantly surprised with the skewered minced lamb that came with grilled tomatoes, fresh onions and a slice of grilled pita bread. The lamb was perfectly seasoned and tender.

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The Shish Tawook was amazing, marinated with spices and grilled (albeit slightly charred), the star of the dish was the famous Tarbush garlic sauce which had a strong flavour and added that perfect bit of bite to the chicken and made a fantastic dip for the bread.

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Our sweet tooth was satiated with dessert – Baklava, made from layers of delicately rolled pastry filled with chopped nuts and honey, a beautiful end to an amazing dinner.

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Verdict: Food is very strongly flavoured, service is great . A little on the pricey end but makes up for it with a wonderful ambiance.

Tarbush, Batu Ferringhi, Penang (located next to The Ship)

Tel: +604-885 2558

here’s the map if you need some direction.

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