I've been trying a fair bit of middle eastern cuisine recently. I guess it's because there are so many "modern Australian" restaurant and going to an Italian or Chinese is such a norm that it's rather pleasant to try something with spices and herbs, and although Indian foods tends to have that too, I just find it rather creamy and rich sometimes and a lot of my friends are not really Indian cuisine fans.
One of the recent middle eastern places we tried at was Raah, located on the Beautfort street strip, closer towards Highgate end then Mount Lawley end. They specialise in contemporary middle eastern cuisine, which was rather exciting.
There are black drapes at the front making it all mysterious and exclusive. Because there was a big group of us we were lucky to score a private area, closed of from the rest of the restaurant, which was packed on a Friday night. The private area had a MASSIVE grand solid wood table, which made the person on the opposite side of the table seem so very far away. It also had a beautiful chandelier/lantern like lighting and fireplace. Gorgeous. Private and cosy.
We ordered a bottle of Spanish Tempranillo wine Rioja Calo, highly recommended by our waiter, who was so friendly warm, knowledgeable and funny. He made the night so enjoyable.
We decided to start the night off a mezze plate as a few of us were running late and we were getting hungry.
Silky hummus with minted lamb and toasted almonds with Turkish bread
The silky hummus with minted lamb and toasted almonds with Turkish bread lightly drizzled with oil. This was so beautiful and the edible petals added a beautiful aroma to the dish when eaten with hummus. You can opt to not eat the petals. The hummus really was silky and having the minted lamb through it added a nice satisfying "meaty" feel to it. The Turkish bread was slightly overcooked but crunchy nonetheless. Because there was six of us we ordered an extra plate of Turkish bread, which also allowed us to finish the hummus nicely.
We opted for 4 "more substantial" meals to share followed by dessert each. There was so many wonderful sounding dishes on the menu that it made rather hard to chose. After much pondering and several visits by our waiter and possibly pouring of more wine we decided on the following four.
Yoghurt Marinated Goat, spicy aubergine relish, moghrabieh salad
The goat was so tender and the dish was rather spicy for some, but I loved it. It just melted in your mouth and the flavours of the dish was amazing. If eaten with the freshing salad and relish side dish it eases the heat that you might have from the goat dish. Perfect balance if you ask me.
Seafood/Clams/Mussels stew with seeded cous cous
This flavours and aroma of the stew would make any non-fan of seafood a fan. It was filled with spices and heat it was fantastic.
The next delicious plate to share for the evening was a chicken dish, which I can't recall what it is (I really need to start making notes or at least taking a photo of the menu!), but it had pita bread on the side. The chicken wasn't too dry and was sweeter and seemed milder in flavour than the other two previous dishes.
Chicken with chickpea and stuffed pita bread
Wild mushroom, date and chickpea
This was rather refreshing in comparison but still had that punch of spice through it.
There was so many yummy options on the dessert menu that there was more sharing to be done.
Turkish Delight sorbet with strawberries
There was the Turkish Delight sorbet with strawberries. The sorbet was this intense flavour of Turkish delight, so refreshing, light and tangy, perfect way to cleanse the palate a good one to start off if you are thinking of sharing the desserts amongst friends.
Stuffed donuts with melted chilli chocolate
We also had the donuts with melted chilli chocolate. Who doesn't like warm donuts dipped in melted chocolate? The donuts were fluffy and had this lovely Turkish delight stuffing in it.This of course went beautifully with the dark chocolate mousse. Light in texture but rich in dark chocolate flavour. The brittle however wasn't crunchy, but rather chewy, which was a little odd.
Chocolate mousse with brittle
Overall, Raah is a great place if you want to try something a little different in the Perth food scene. It packs a punch with the dishes they serve, the service is so friendly, warm and accommodating there is nothing to fault there. The only thing I would comment is that it was a bit too dim, it was almost hard to read the menu, just a slight turn up on the dim lights would not have ruined the mood and would enable us to see the menu. Also if you don't feel like having to choice out of the mains and mezze plates there is also the set menu that is available.
If you haven't already, definitely check out Raah. It's worth going.