Saturday, May 28, 2011

More Amazingness At Amwaj

On a frigid late afternoon, my friend and I returned to Amwaj, where we had enjoyed a delicious meal two months earlier. I was delighted to see the restaurant revamped their vegan menu and had even more enticing options. I debated what to order, while my non-vegan friend did the same with the equally large regular menu. We were the only ones seated in the eloquent dining room, as it was an awkward in between time where it could have been either a late lunch or early dinner. Nevertheless, we enjoyed ourselves and didn't have to worry about anyone ease dropping on our conversation, save for the bored waitstaff. We used our $25 dollar gift certificate and this time made a better attempt to spend the minimum of $35.

While we browsed the extensive menu, we placed an order for hummus ($6). Sadly, they removed the hummus sampler from the menu and there was only a plain hummus offering.

My disappointment faded fast when the appetizer came out. It did not look anything like the typical hummus I have become so accustomed to. It was very creamy and decadent and had a rich, garlicky taste with notes of tahini. There were also so many spices interspersed that added a nice kick and made it very flavorful. The olive oil in the center was a great touch, adding a light contrast and sopping up the warm, soft pita bread very well.

Next, my entree came out, the Vegan Chicken Lasagna ($12).

This was so delicious. The lasagna was filled with well-seasoned vegetables and coated in a light marinara sauce and melted daiya cheese. The gardein chicken was also quite tasty and had a slightly chewy texture. This was a great take on a traditional Italian dish, as there were many Mediterranean spices mixed in, giving it such an intense flavor. The accompanying sauteed vegetables had a light spice and were delicately covered in oil.

Lastly, my dessert came out, the Pecan-Walnut Pudding ($8). I ate the majority of this, as my friend was stuffed from her meal.

This was pretty much a vegan version of a caramelized flan dish and was so amazing. Even my non-vegan friend was blown away by the flavor and consistency. It was very sweet and the nut topping worked perfectly on the soft custard. Even better, there was a light mixture of a bittersweet powder on the bottom that had a hint of cocoa. I love a great surprise!

Overall, I loved this meal. I am so happy that Amwaj expanded their Vegan Menu and my hopes are that they will continue to add even more delicious options. The food tastes very authentic and I love that they incorporate Italian dishes into their Mediterranean repertoire. I was disappointed we were not served the amazing complimentary focaccia bread on this visit, as that was one of the highlights from my previous dining experience. While the menu is a bit pricy, the gift certificate made it significantly cheaper at just $14 with tax and tip. I will definitely be back and can't wait to try more of their vegan offerings.

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