Have you ever been to a restaurant and automatically you feel like you’re part of the family? Sincere greetings, no hands without a drink and staff that aren’t afraid of telling you they’re nervous about the big media night. Houda’s Kitchen; a Mediterranean and Lebanese eatery located in Hindmarsh was the perfect reminder that most restaurants are run by families, by people just like you and I, whose dreams are coming true in the form of bringing people together to eat and drink.
The décor of Houda’s Kitchen was stunning; simple yet rustic table settings with dimmed pendant lighting and my favourite; fresh flowers. The large pizza oven catches the eye but in a good way.. It’s gorgeous! Both the indoor dining area and beer-garden are perfect for a range of events from date nights to birthdays.
I couldn’t wait to see what food was on offer, as I have only had brief encounters with Lebanese foods I was adamant to try everything and ask all the questions I could to indulge in such a warm culture.
So when I say I wanted to try everything, I didn’t fail. My plate was like a dream boat of all the foods; fresh wood oven pizza, Tabouli, Baba Ganoush, Sambousek, Batanjan, Hummus, Kibbeh, Shish Tawouk (Chicken skewers with garlic yoghurt) and the list goes on and on. Because we don’t have all day I’ll just write about my favourite dishes of the night; not to say I didn’t absolutely love everything! I was surprised that I enjoyed all of the dishes considering I am fairly new to Lebanese cuisine (although definitely not a rookie when it comes to Mediterranean foods!)
I started with two dishes that have become fairly main stream in today’s society; hummus with fresh pita bread and a big scoop of tabouli. The hummus was well seasoned, creamy and everything you could want in a dip. With tabouli having such strong flavours it is easy to over-do, but Houda’s Kitchen served a perfectly balanced salad with no bitter tastes and hits of freshness.
Sitting in the indoor dining area it’s hard to look past the big pizza wood oven, right in front of your eyes you can see cheese melting, wood burning and the smell… is there any better smell than wood oven pizza cooking?! Well there might be but you’ll forget about those at Houda’s. My pizza had a thin crispy base with a rich tomato sauce, prosciutto, salami, cheese, olives and basil. You would have seen these flavours on pizzas before and there is a reason for that; they work together and are delicious!
The vast variety of vegetarian options made some of us a little excited, these days there are always vegie options but the amount on offer was excellent! The stand out of the vegetarian dishes for me was the Arnabeet; a fried cauliflower dish topped with tahini, there was so much flavour unlike I had ever tried before.
Now when I come across chicken wings you can pretty much say I’m in heaven; if there’s wings on the menu then I’m already visualising myself eating them. Jawaneh; chicken wings topped with garlic, coriander and lemon (insert heavy breathing) were crispy and had huge hits of flavour.
Amongst the eating and socialising, the guests were entertained with traditional music, singing and a very talented belly dancer. It honestly felt as though I was attending a family affair with lots of laughs, hugs, good food and entertainment, a fantastic evening had by all.
Words by Chelsea Thomas
WHERE: 218-220 Port Rd, Hindmarsh