November is the month for birthdays with Stacy and mine being celebrated this month. For my birthday celebrations again we wanted to try somewhere new. Raah was my choice.
Right now it seems as though Mount Lawley’s Beaufort Street has the Midas touch. And so you could argue that its latest addition, the modern Middle Eastern restaurant, Raah, could well be heading for success.
Put into the mix the fact that Troy Payne (head chef MoMo, Melbourne) is manning the pans and it becomes clear why Raah was never going to be just any old restaurant.
The interior reveals a contemporary Moroccan-inspired décor with dark wooden tables and a line of soft, stylish two-seater booths.
All best appreciated after sunset, when the warm lighting of the small dining room really comes into its own.
As for food, expect a mixture of ‘mezze’ and ‘more substantial’ options – both based firmly in the Middle Eastern food culture of shared, banquet-style eating. A short introduction at the top of the menu explains about the generosity of having lots of little dishes to share between family, friends and “even the unexpected traveller”.
However, don’t go expecting your standard Middle Eastern menu. At Raah – like at MoMo
– the inspiration and influence is patently and proudly Middle Eastern but the delivery is a contemporary blend of flavours and techniques.
We chose some dishes from the mezze options and a couple from the substantial options. I thought we had ordered too much but not much left on the plates, we did really well.
From the mezze menu, we had the silky hummus with minted lamb, toasted almonds and Turkish bread. The hummus was creamy topped with toasted almonds. The thick cut Turkish bread was slightly toasted which went well with the hummus and accompanied by pan-fried lamb mince infused with a subtle mint flavour.
Chunky cut corn on the cob with sumac-dried lime butter was another order. Sumac has quite a tart flavour and is combined with butter with a dash of lime to cut through the tartness The butter is then spread all over the grilled corn cob.
Kebab is a common dish of Middle Eastern cuisine so we ordered the chicken kebabs with Raah dukkah, herb potatoes and cacik. Grilled chicken thigh pieces marinated with dukkah that was a little under flavoured and lacked seasoning. It is accompanied with roasted herb potatoes and cacık which is made of yogurt, salt, olive oil, crushed garlic, chopped cucumber, dill, mint, and lime juice, diluted with water to a low consistency, and garnished with sumac.
The prawns sounded so good on the menu and we just had to order it. It was probably the best dish on the menu too. The prawns were marinated with preserved lemon, chilli and coriander then grilled until perfectly cooked.
Mei’s favourite poultry is quail so we ordered the twice cooked crispy skinned quails in a tamarind syrup marinate. The marinate was lovely, sweet but yet a little sour from the tamarind. The quails were tender but lacked the crispy skin as mentioned in the menu. For me, quails are a little too fiddly to consume.
From the more substantial option menu, we ordered a couple of dishes and the traditional tagine was one of them. It was a butterbean, tomato and olive tagine with beetroot apple cigars. The flavours in the tagine were great, simple flavours that worked well. Add the beetroot apple cigars which looked like large spring rolls filled with beetroot and apple pieces as the finishing touch.
Our other dish was cayenne spiced beef kofta baked in Turkish tomato sauce and egg with yoghurt bread. Beef mince balls baked with a tomato sugo and whole cracked egg accompanied with bread to soak up the sauce.
For a side, we ordered the warmed baby beetroot with feta and soft herb salad. Uncomplicated flavours were the basis of this salad, just the sweetness from the beetroot mixed with the sourness of the feta was suffice.
After all that, we managed to squeeze in some deserts as well. One of which was the petite fours consisting of Turkish delight, lemon meringue tart, pistachio nougat and chocolate brownie. All of which were nice especially the lemon meringue.
We also ordered the chocolate flourless and pistachio cake topped with orange blossom syrup which was fantastic. Layered dense chocolate cake in between chocolate cream and topped with silky chocolate ganache.
Raah is definitely a good addition to the Mount Lawley culinary scene and I do hope that there will be more Middle Eastern cuisines pop up in Perth. Thank you girls for sharing my birthday with me.
On the whole, 8 for food quality, 8 ½ for atmosphere and 8 ½ for service.
484 Beaufort St
Tel: 9227 9745
Tues – Sat 12pm – 11pm Sun 12pm – 9.30pm