Some days, we’re quite happily cooking meals at home, but there are other times when it seems like we’re constantly invited out for meals with friends and on those days, we’re eating out almost every night in the week! It’s not a bad thing for us though, because it means we get introduced to new restaurants as well as new cuisines which we try in the company of great friends.
It’s hard to know where the good halal (specially prepared meat to meet with religious requirements) restaurants are. Unfortunately, whenever we’ve been out with our friends, we tend to go to restaurants with a variety of vegetarian dishes. Unless they’re Indian/Bengali/Pakistani restaurants, it doesn’t seem like restaurants really advertise the fact that they serve halal meat. When our friends suggested going to Pomegranate for dinner, we were intrigued and pleasantly surprised to try a new variety of food.
The restaurant serves food from Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran to give you a taste of Middle Eastern cuisine. It is beautifully decorated with a Middle Eastern theme, with friendly, welcoming mint green coloured walls and, well, pomegranate-skin coloured counter to complement the dark wood furniture and door frames. There is also a decking area where you can sit back and enjoy a shisha if that’s your kind of thing!
Instead of ordering a starter each, we decided to order a few mezze (like tapas) dishes to share between us. We ended up ordering Bayengaan Surocrau (strips of aubergines, marinated then lightly fried), Fatoush (a fresh Lebanese style salad with shredded lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion and radish) and Baly Merishke (crispy lemon scented chicken wings straight from the barbeque).
Our mezze selection (clockwise from top): Bayengaan Surocrau, Fatoush and Baly Merishke
We were also brought naan bread to go with our meals
I wasn’t sure at first what to expect with Middle Eastern food, having never had the opportunity to try the cuisine, but each mezze dish was very tasty. It reminds me very much of Asian cooking, where simply prepared food taste the best. You don’t need to add a lot of sauce or condiments to make a dish taste amazing and the same could be said for the mezze dishes we ordered.
Having stuffed ourselves full of yummy starters, we moved onto the main course. I had a difficult time choosing between several dishes, they all sounded so good! In the end, I decided to go for the Chicken Koobideh (minced chicken breast, marinated in tomatoes and turmeric with a hint of green chilli and parsley) which was served with basmati rice decorated with pomegranate seeds.
My Chicken Koobideh main course
The OH ordered the Gosht Kebab (delicately spiced and minced lamb) while my friend had the Merishke Kebab (marinated chicken breast) which were both served with okra casserole.
Merishke Kebab with okra casserole
For once, none of us had any space in our tummies for dessert which we were disappointed with, but we honestly couldn’t fill ourselves with another bite. It was definitely a great experience and I would recommend this restaurant for anyone who wants a new dining experience from the regular (burger/sushi/British/Indian/Pakistani/Chinese/Mexican/Spanish or whatever else restaurant there are dotted around Edinburgh) hangouts.
Pomegranate is open Monday to Friday 12:00 (11:00am on Saturday and Sundays) and closes at 11:30pm. The restaurant can be found at 1 Antigua Street, EH1 3NH. To make a reservation, call 0131 556 8337 or through their online booking system.