Summer has arrived, which means it’s time to enjoy fresh, delicious food. And there’s no better cuisine for the summer than Middle Eastern. Here, we look at the 10 foods you want to try while the weather is warm.

1 – Need a quick lunch? Grab a Shish Tawook Wrap

Sometimes you’re out and about and want a tasty option for a takeaway lunch. Get yourself a Shish Tawook – marinated chicken breast, salad and our lemon garlic sauce.

Prefer lamb? Get yourself a Kofta Wrap with spiced lamb mince, hummus and salad instead. Either way, it’s quick, fresh and delicious!

2 – Want to try a twist on your favourite dip? Try Hummus with Spiced Minced Meat

Plain hummus is fine. But if you want to take your hummus experience to a new level, you’ve got to try hummus with spiced mince meat. Perfect for dipping fresh bread into.

More of a plant-based lover? You should go for the Hummus with Pine Nuts instead – the pine nuts are roasted to perfection for maximum flavour. Want the best of both worlds? We offer Hummus with Meat and Pine Nuts as well.

3 – Ready to try Mama’s cooking? You can’t miss the Batinjan Makdous

Stuffed vegetables are always a winner, and the Batinjan Makdous is no exception. Homemade by Mama herself, baby eggplants are stuffed with a tasty mix of capsicum, walnuts and garlic.

Topped off with some olive oil, it’s the perfect mix of fresh ingredients and great flavour.

4 – Like to keep life spicy? Give Makanek a whirl

Makanek, or Lebanese sausage, is one of the most flavoursome dishes you can get. We pack our Makanek with spices, then they are twice-cooked in fresh lemon juice.

Perfect to share with a friend – or keep them all to yourself, we won’t judge.

5 – Prefer your vegetables tasty? Don’t miss the Arnabeet

Did you always hate overcooked, soggy vegetables when you were a kid? This dish will transform your opinion of the humble cauliflower!

Our Arnabeet is made by lightly frying cauliflower. We then serve it with a tangy tahini sauce and pine nuts, over a bed of fresh lettuce. It’s vegetables – but not as you know it. Once you’ve had Arnabeet, you’ll never go back to steamed cauliflower again!

6 – Want a healthy option that tastes like a treat? Sample the Batinjan

Healthy and delicious? That’s the Batinjan in a nutshell. We take eggplant and lightly fry it. Add a garlic, tahini and parsley salsa, and you’ve got a serve of vegetables that smells and tastes delightful!

7 – The staple of any Lebanese meal? It’s got to be Kibbi

In Lebanon, no meal is a real meal without including some Kibbi. We take lamb mince and burghul, spice them with our secret blend, add some pine nuts, and serve with yoghurt.

If you truly want to experience what it’s like to enjoy a Lebanese meal, you have to order a plate of Kibbi to share.

8 – Plenty of flavour wrapped in a little parcel? You want the Vine Leaves

Wherever you go in the Mediterranean and Middle East, you will find these delightful little packages. Here, we hand-wrap the vine leaves around rice, tomato, onion, parsley and spices. Then it is cooked in a house-made olive oil and lemon sauce.

But what makes our Vine Leaves truly special is that they are wrapped by Mum herself! She uses leaves that are picked during the summertime for maximum flavour.

9 – Love a good dose of garlic? You’ll be a fan of the Toume

There’s no better combination than creaminess and a garlic flavour. That’s exactly what you’ll get with our Toume dip. Use for your breads or skewers – or both!

10 – How about a creamy dip to try? It’s gotta be our Labneh

Labneh is an interesting food, as it is essentially a cheese made out of yoghurt! The yoghurt is strained to remove the whey, leaving behind a rich cream-cheese like dip. Labneh has a subtle flavour, so it can be used for your breads and skewers, or even added to your salads.

Did you know that Labneh is a rich source of natural probiotics, or good bacteria? So if you’re on a health kick for the summer, this is a great choice for you to try.

Want to try these, and many other delicious options? Be sure to head down to Zaitoune! We have plenty of beverage options to keep you cool, including milkshakes and frappes. So book your table today. We’ll see you at Zaitoune!

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