Located at: 377 Galle Road, Colombo 03, Sri Lanka
Visited on: 03 Nov, 2017
Back after a short stay in Dubai and our appetite for shawarma still intact, we decided to pick some dinner up from Arabian Knights while we were out. We’ve been here a few times before and have been impressed by their hummus (which comes with a warm, thin bread – not your typical pita, but a variation of saj bread; a good match for the hummus nonetheless) and some of their grills – particularly shish tawouk. This is also a place that I had earmarked as a back-up plan to satisfy my shawarma cravings in time to come. But I was left quite disappointed on this particular occasion. And I hope that this was a one-off.
I had a Dubai-style Chicken Shawarma (LKR 490). Sizeable, to say the least, and a nice thin wrap too (the same bread that comes with the hummus). But the filling just didn’t work for me. It could have used a tad bit more chicken, but that wasn’t the issue. I was tasting cabbage (in a coleslaw sort of way) and what I’m pretty sure was banana peppers (or what we refer to as maalu miris). In all my shawarma years, this maalu miris was a first. And I can assure you that maalu miris is not so much a Dubai thing. There was also some other dark leafy content (spinach?) that wasn’t helping the cause. No guys, this is not what we look for in a shawarma. I’m all for veggies and all of that good stuff jazz on a day-to-day basis. But not when I order a shawarma. Dubai and its authentic cuisine are predominantly about meat. More chicken, pickled gherkin and/or coriander/mint leaves (instead of cabbage/coleslaw/more leafy things), may be some fries and a touch of lettuce – as this seems to be included in most ‘Dubai’ shawarma recipes, tahini, a bit of garlic mayo perhaps, some tomato if necessary. That’s what we want to taste. We’re here for the shawarma, not for the veggies. There was some kind of decent, seemingly mayo-based, red-ish sauce lurking in the background of that sandwich, which was unfortunately drowned out by a slight bitterness of the forest that was in there. I would have liked to taste more of that. Maybe I’d picked the wrong ‘style’ of shawarma. I don’t know. Whatever it was, I was at the dissatisfied end of the spectrum.
For some reason, the Hummus (LKR 420 – comes with one bread, LKR 60 for each extra bread) wasn’t what I remembered it to be either. Visually great. Texturally fine too. But I was catching a slight bitterness somewhere in it. Whether it was the chickpeas or the tahini that they had used, I’m not sure. However, I do remember thoroughly enjoying their hummus on several previous occasions. So much so that we’ve taken away just a portion of hummus by itself on a couple of occasions. As I said at the beginning, I honestly hope that this was a one-off. And I hope to be able to enjoy Arabian Knights’ food again and write more positive reviews in the future. Until then, ma’a salaama!
Yummy Rating: 2.5 / 5.0