The Lebanese Kitchen by Abla Amad. Paperback book published by Viking 2001.
Oh yes, I love Lebanese food. I am very fortunate to have eaten at Abla’s restaurant in Melbourne, so when I saw this cookbook, I knew what I was getting. The publishers blurb on the back cover reads, “A meal is a shared experience: an abundance of dishes, lots of courses…”. The last time I ate at Abla’s I was whipped into submission by an over abundance of food. Yep, there were courses that despite their incredible appearance, smell and overall appeal, were not able to pass these lips… not even a small taste. Too much food… seriously too much food. Even now after 7 years, I quiver with the sad thought of the table being cleared of plates filled with food. This experience was so distressing that I have never returned. So what was the food that I did eat like? It was excellent, truly memorable dishes of the highest quality. This cookbook could be the answer to this problem, just cook what you and or your guests, can reasonably eat. Don’t get me wrong, try the restaurant, it is memorable and delicious… and then try the recipes in reasonable quantity at home.