Since its opening Zahira, has enchanted diners with its delectable dishes and warm hospitality. Visitors have enjoyed exploring the Art of Mezza, Art of Sharing, and the Art of Sweet Design and Tradition, but, few have fully delved into the realm of the Art of Garden. Zahira invites those who are vegetarians and flexitarians (those who are predominantly but not strictly vegetarian) to unearth the culinary offerings catering to all palettes. Zahira presents contemporary Middle Eastern cuisine which does not solely focus on meat, and challenges the stereotypes that meat is an integral component of Arabic gastronomy.
A warm and welcoming space, Zahira, tempts you to navigate through the Art of Garden inventions and explore Chef Greg Malouf’s delightful vegetarian creations. The impressive seventeen-item menu, offers a variety of classic Middle Eastern dishes which have been modernised, as well as signature-standouts which are characteristic to the cuisine, and are featured on the regular menu. Chef Greg’s interpretations are a reminder that Arabic and regional cooking includes a generous assortment of vegetarian focused dishes. Vegetarian plates are integral to Zahira’s identity as well as Chef Greg’s. “Vegetarian based dishes are a part of Arabic culture and parts of my culture” he says, “the dishes on this menu are a reflection of foods and ingredients I adore.”
Expect to find combinations such as fresh tempura zaatar leaves served with artichokes and harissa, and Persian soft herb salad served with crunchy halloumi, fennel and figs. There are also numerous gluten-free options like the favourite, Imam Bayildi: a whole eggplant cooked with plum tomatoes and melted goats cheese, or the desert truffle risotto served with chickpeas and wild thyme, as well as vegan varieties like the avocado fattoush and seven vegetable tagine, which is served with couscous. The Art of Garden menu can easily be transformed into a feasting occasion where Chef Malouf will create a banquet to satisfy all taste buds at the table.
The vegetables are reliably sourced and selected, with much of the produce being imported especially during the summer months. In the winter months Zahira supports regional farmers and imports from Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey.
The importance of herbs, fruits and attention to detail are further captured in the Art of Shrubs bar menu. An eclectic variety of mocktails have been carefully crafted and influenced by sensory experiences. The infusions combine and blend elements that are used throughout Middle Eastern dishes. The term ‘shrubs ’refers to a cocktail or soft drink popular in colonial America which was made of vinegar syrup, blended with fruits or herbs and used as an alternative to bitters to help balance and flavour mocktails. Some unique concoctions include the Sharbat, made of freshly squeezed pomegranate juice with crushed cardamom seeds and rose-water or the Hibiscus mimosa, consisting of homemade hibiscus shrub- blended with fresh orange juice and sparkling grape juice to refresh and invigorate.
Chef Greg and the team behind Zahira are dedicated to creating an impressionable and flavourful experience, catered to all tastes which promises to delight and surprise your senses!