Saturday, January 19, 2008

Bedouin Kitchen

Bedouin Kitchen is located on Grey Street in St Kilda. John and I went there for a meal since the food sounded really interesting. Upon arriving, we found a small shop front with a large wooden door. When we entered, I didn't get that comfortable vibe. The restaurant was so dark and felt more like a pub than a restaurant. The restaurant owner continued to surf the web while the waitress seated us at a table near the only other group of diners in the restaurant.

We were served water (really warm and tasted rather strange so I only had one sip all night) and given menus. The waitress explained that the restaurant did mezze style meals.

We decided on some mezze and a claypot. The first dish we got was Egyptian Pumpkin. The pumpkins were roasted and topped with tahini and some honey. It was ok with the flavours slightly interesting but not really combining that well.

We got Lamb Cutlets (back dish in photo), which were marinated and grilled. They tasted like any other lamb cutlets that I throw on the BBQ myself. I couldn't really taste what the marinate was. The Chargrilled Octopus was quite nice, but a little burnt. They were supposed to be covered in sumac, some type of seed. However, if they were there, I couldn't really taste it.

The Kibbeh was lamb mince with spices that was chargrilled. It tasted just like lamb mince and again I couldn't taste any spices.

The claypot that we got was the Bamia with Lamb. It was a stew with lamb, okra on rice. Again, it was like all the other dishes that night, underwhelming. It needed more flavour and some salt. It just tasted like lamb with some tomato puree on it.

For dessert, John got the Baklava, which was a bit too buttery in taste. I got the Bedouin Roll, which John said sort of redeemed the whole meal. The roll was very nice indeed, with the stewed dried fruit in the roll full of flavour. The clotted cream served with it had a nice hint of flavour. I also got the Sahlab drink, which is suposed a drink made of orchid bulbs, rosewater and milk. It was very fragrant indeed and went down well.

Service was good, seeing as we were only one of two table. The waitress explained things and cleared away dishes quickly. The restaurant lacked any real atmosphere. It was just way way too dark and felt so uncomfortable. The room felt like an ancient dungeon or something, with the dark wooden floors and low lighting.

The food was underwhelming as everything lacked flavour. The meal was way too expensive, coming in at $50 each for food that didn't excite at all.

Overall Rating: 10/20, Food lacked flavour for me. If you want to try some different style food, you might come here.

Scores: 1-9: Unacceptable, don't bother. 10-11: Just OK,some shortcomings. 12: Fair. 13: Getting there. 14: Recommended. 15: Good. 16: Really good. 17: Truly excellent. 18: An outstanding experience. 19-20: Approaching perfection, Victoria's best.

Bedouin Kitchen on Urbanspoon


  1. Hey Thanh,

    Shame about the restaurant!

    Sumac is a red powder, and very sharp and sour. If it's ther, you can usually see it, but can def taste it! Yummy.

    xox Sarah

  2. so you went to another place without us eh

    too good for us

    I envy George

  3. Bamia is my favourite arabic dish. It is pretty hard to get wrong though! i will rememember not to go here, not that i am brave enough to go to any arabic restaraunts as I am scared i will be dissapointed.

    Think I'll make bamia tonight. yummmm

  4. Me and Do try to go to Arabic places to eat, but because he is so dam discriminate, it's hard to get good service and food.

  5. Sarah, thanks for that info. Now I'm definite it wasn't there. It just tasted like regular chargrilled octopus.

    Anonymous, you're the one always whining about my bad choices and how expensive they are. How can I ask you when all I get is criticism. For your info, it's another John.

    Ran, maybe you can invite me around to try some of your bamia. This bamia was definitely underwhelming, lacking in flavour.

    Anonymous, I believe it was you who swore you would never go to another Arabic place due to how bad it was one time.

  6. Hi Thanh,

    Nothing ticks me off more than paying too much for food at a place that doesn't deliver the goods. That's part of the reason why we rarely ever went out anymore when we were in Melbourne and if we did, we'd just go to the same places over and over again. :|

    The pumpkin dish sounds very interesting though and so does the Grilled octopus w/ sumac. It's a pity they were under flavoured. I reckon you can do a better job at home with the same ingredients and it'd cost you much less! ;)

  7. Iling, it makes me really angry too when you feel like you're being ripped off.

    Have you moved to London permanently? I thought you were just there for a holiday?

    Well the pumpkin dish I can do at home very similarly. I've done pumpkin drizzled with a bit of honey before and in fact tasted better. This pumpkin wasn't as sweet.

  8. Hi Thanh,

    We're in London for the next year or so on the Working Holiday visa. So will be blogging from London for the next year or so. :)

  9. Iling, I was wondering why there were so many posts from London on your blog lately. I thought you might just be spreading them out and writing them slowly.

    I love reading about London and your photos are fantastic. The ones of the market and the fireworks were my favourite. Please blog more from London so I can see what it's like. It one of the places on my list of places to visit eventually. :-)