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Located on the sixth floor of Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, Al-Amar Lebanese Cuisine is a convenient spot to rest those weary feet after a shopping spree in the heart of the city. It’s no surprise that the restaurant is a popular spot for tourists but it also gets its fair share of local diners comprised primarily of groups and families.
With intricate laser-cut hanging lamps complemented by deep red accents, Al-Amar’s Moorish style is both classy and thematically apt.
Order the hommos bel lahme, chickpea mash topped with cubed beef. While hummus is often served in an uninspired heap, Al-Amar shapes theirs into a shallow bowl to hold the juicy pieces of meat. Thick and creamy, its earthy notes are punctuated by the savoury flavours of the meat. Together with warm, airy buns, the hummus is a thoroughly enjoyable starter.
The standard mixed grill comprises sticks of chicken, beef and koftas. Deliciously succulent and flavourful, the aromatic marinade seeps through every inch of the meat. The dish is served with a spicy dip reminiscent of horseradish, making it even more addictive.
Wrap up the meal with a baklava unlike any other. Instead of many layers of pastry, Al-Amar’s version is bite-sized nut bars covered in a thin layer filo pastry. With crunch from the generous amounts of pistachios and peanuts in each piece, the dessert has a lovely texture that complements the sweetness from the syrup.
Al-Amar’s alcohol menu is separate and will only be produced when requested as the restaurant is pork-free and caters primarily to a Muslim clientele. Even then, the selection is quite extensive from several types of liquors to a range of wines at several price points.
The labels carried cover a wide geographical area but Lebanese wines are highlighted in particular, being one of the oldest wine-producing areas. Two out of their three house pours for both red and white are of Lebanese origin.
The Chateau Musar Jeune Red, a medium-bodied wine leaning towards a more acidic taste goes perfectly with the meat dishes.
Otherwise, the fizziness of the Bavaria non-alcoholic beers, which are akin to sodas, also work well with the meat-centric dishes.
Al-Amar’s staff are welcoming and polite, tending to customers with an air of professionalism. Waiters have a firm grasp of the menu with knowledge of the restaurant’s bestsellers at his fingertips, allowing them to make helpful suggestions. During the course of the meal, staff are attentive without being obtrusive, checking on tables from time to time. It is never difficult to get their attention and service is prompt.
With many sharing dishes and generous servings, Al-Amar is an affordable option for big parties. Al-Amar presents itself as a unique alternative for big dinners than the more popular Western, Chinese, and Japanese cuisines. In the myriad options for dining in Pavilion, Al-Amar stands out for its authentic food and elegant setting.