Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Another night at Amwaj

Another night, another meal at Amwaj restaurant. I cannot proclaim my love enough for this amazing vegan-friendly establishment, and I find myself constantly craving their delicious food. On my most recent visit, I introduced a friend of mine to their food, who had been dying to go since I raved so highly about it. I was so excited to see her reaction, as she took her first bite into each delectable dish. It's a little corny, I know, but I love exposing others to wonderful food and it's a big part of the reason why I started this blog.

We started out with two appetizers. First, we had the Amwaj Peppers ($7) and then hummus ($6).

The Amwaj Peppers are definitely Amwaj's signature dish, hence the usage of their name in the dish. The flavors were seriously incredible, from the savory, well-spiced rice concoction filling to the luscious, sweet molasses topping. The peppers were boiled to perfection and were soft and juicy. The basil topping added a delightful spice to the dish, taking it above and beyond.

The hummus was also quite a treat and a lovely way to begin the meal.

The taste of tahini was strong and the consistency was so smooth and creamy. There was a light flavoring of pepper and a delicate cilantro garnish. In addition, the center of the dish was filled with a glob of oil that complimented the hummus wonderfully. To accompany the hummus, there was a slightly warm pita bread and crunchy, spicy chips. The chips were perfect on their own and tasted a bit odd with the additional spices of the hummus. The pita bread worked very well with the hummus and completely sopped up the flavor.

Next, our main dishes came out. First, we had the Vegan Pesto Chicken Tortellini ($14).

This pasta was delicious. It was quite evident that the pasta was homemade, and it had such a soft, doughy texture. The interior was even more delectable, with a garlicky, creamy pesto sauce coating slightly chewy pieces of soy chicken. The sauce worked perfectly with the savory filling, adding a contrasting sweet flavoring. I normally do not like tomato sauce, yet I really enjoyed Amwaj's version. It was very smooth and had a slightly creamy consistency.

Lastly, we had the Asparagus Artichoke Quiche ($9).

Sadly, this is the first dish at Amwaj that I did not enjoy very much. I think this can be attributed to the fact that the dish did not resemble a quiche at all, but rather a mediocre casserole dish. The crust was way too hard and difficult to eat. The interior was flavorful, but had an odd consistency that was too pasty. In addition, there were many mushrooms interspersed, which gave the dish a fungal taste, despite my picking out most of them. The accompanying salad, however, was the highlight of the dish. The vegetables were very fresh and crunchy and were coated in a light, refreshing, moderately spiced, lemony vinaigrette.

Overall, I really enjoyed the visit.  Having been to Amwaj several times now, I can honestly say the food is consistently flavorful and the service is outstanding. I really hope they can improve the quiche and make it actually taste like the real thing. Nevertheless, the meal was terrific and so perfectly spiced. It was quite a deal with the $25 gift certificate and only cost about $10 a person (with tax and tip). I cannot wait to go back next month and try more of their amazing food!

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