Saturday, February 19, 2011

Utrecht, Netherlands - Badhu: Arabian Mezze

If tapas are for Spain, mezze are for the Medittereneans.  Around the globe, small bites have been a staple in the food scene.  And this place were HT couple recently dined proved that.

Badhu aka (Badhuis), was a former bathhouse and now a hotel and restaurant in the inner city (binnenstad) of Utrecht.  You can't miss this place especially at night as this can be the so-called "green light district".  Here's why...

Check out how the green lights reflect from outside. I heard from a friend that even the hotel rooms have their own dominant color that you can choose from...the red room, the gold room, etc.
Photos were taken from (We didn't had the time to take pictures of the place as we were in a rush to go home for a meeting..unfortunately, one of the other lives of HT couple)

We were sitted in that purple room...and the place was really crowded even for a night that is not considered shopping night (koopavond).  Trivia: In the Netherlands, most shops or maybe all shops closes at 5 pm except on Thursdays which is at 9 pm.  Most restaurants are crowded after long hours of shopping (yes that's already long for the dutch) and enjoying the lively weeknight once a week. 
Living up to the tapas/mezze concept is the checklist sheet to mark your orders...

And they offer 2 types of bread:
Moroccan bread (fluffy)

Lebanese bread (flat like wraps)

On the side we got Muhammara Labna a yogurt dip spiced up with paprika, chilis, garlic and dill.  The dip was so-so.  I guess we were expecting so much as HT couple associates arabian dishes as full of taste.

Batinjan was part of the Mahsji (stuffed) in the menu.  The tasty Merquez mini-sausages (well-known to the moroccans) were wrapped in good slices of roasted eggplant topped with tomato puree with lemon.  It was tasty and delicious.

Lahm Meshwi - a must-have!  Small pieces of beef marinated with parsley, sesame and sumak (click on the word to learn more about it) that were grilled to perfection!  The beef pieces were very tender, perfectly red in the center and nicely done on the outside.  We gave thumbs up to this as they made each pieces a masterpiece despite of its size.  The sweet tangy taste of the tomato puree was a great add-on to the meat.

Tajines has always been on the the tables of the Moroccans.  Dishes are cooked in a huge plate of claypot covered with an inverted cone shaped made of clay as well. According to my wiki-hubbie, tajine cooking is a traditional way of making stews or infusing dishes with its own flavor, by letting the vapor condensed and set aside on the clay plate.  We have one at home (a gift from a friend), and we're planning to use it one of these days. :) Check out also our tajine dine-out in Singapore click here.

Lham Bel Teffah - stewed beef in dates, apples, cinnamon and honey  was one of our tajine choices for the night.  We, somehow like how honey and fruit sugars worked well in stew.  (We always use apple pear syrup - (maastrichter stroop) when we do it at home).  The dish didn't disappoint us as the beef were succulent and scrumptious.  I was happy seeing the waiters carrying this small tajine serving plate.  It made the presentation special and somehow letting the diners feel they're up for something moroccan and authentic.

Tajine Ihamed - this was our second order of tajine as we can't have enough of it.  I really wanted to order again the kebab we had, but we were both enthusiastic to try something else.  This tajine was made of chicken pieces, garlic sausages and olives with zest of lemon.  It was also yummy even though lighter in spices.
Enjoying these authentic dishes always go along with good wine.

Domain Larroque cabernet sauvignon - this 2007 full-bodied moroccan red wine is recommended by HT couple for its firm taste.  We just randomly picked in the menu and we glad we made a good choice.

I adore who's the people behind Badhu.  The food, the concept and dining experience were such delights and i'm sure HT couple would be back for more.

Prices in euro:
dips = 3.75  euro
bread = 1.50 euro
wine glass = 3.90 euro
mezze are ranging from 7-9 euro 
assorted arabian red wine bottle = ranges from 25-30

Willem van Noortplein 19
Opens from 11 am onwards

Tel: +3130-2720444 (reservations are recommended)

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