Monday, February 20, 2017

Arabian Festival at Yoyogi Park / アラビアンフェスティバル@代々木公園

With the ever growing popularity of the Thai, Indian, Vietnamese and other country festivals, I was really looking forward to this one, the first ever Arabian Festival to be held at Yoyogi Park. Middle Eastern cuisine is my favorite foods and I was hoping to find some of my favorite dishes at this festival.


I don't think the Japanese are too familiar with Middle Eastern cuisine and this being the first ever Arabian Festival, there were few food booths and a total lack of any crowds.


Some people showed interest in the Halal ramen but I wasn't looking for ramen. I was looking for some authentic Middle Eastern cuisine.


And then I found a booth that was serving almost everything I was looking for. I was hoping one of the booths would have dejaj mashwee or shish tawook and I was hoping that they would have shawarma on the menu as well.  This booth had both shish tawook and sharwarma on their menu. They also had something called kushari that looked interesting. Just so you know what I'm talking about, I have given definitions of the foods below:

dejaj mashwi = char broiled chicken marinated in lemon and garlic and topped with a garlic sauce.
shish tawook = Lebanese chicken skewers, also marinated in lemon and garlic.
sharwarma = Similar to the Greek gyros and Turkish doner kebabs using grilled meat and vegetables and usually stuffed in a pita bread.
kushari = an Egyptian dish made with a mixture rice, macaroni, and lentils and topped with a spicy tomato sauce, garlic vinegar, and garnished with chickpeas and fried onions.

ある屋台が僕が探し求めて食べ物全部あった。僕が探してたのはデジャジュマジュウィーシシタウークシャウルマ。ひとつの屋台が全て僕は探し求めた料理があった!シシタウークにシャウルマ。あとコシャリというものもあって気になった、それも注文しました。 中近東料理に縁がない方に下記で軽く説明致します。

シシタウーク = 鶏肉の串焼き。味付けはレモンとガーリック。
シャウルマ = ギリシャ料理のギロピタやトルコ料理のドネルケバブと似たようなラップサンド。
コシャリ = エジプトを代表する庶民の味。米、パスタ、豆類をミックスしたトマトソースがけご飯。

First, my wife and I shared the shish tawook. This flavor reminds me of my favorite Lebanese restaurant that was located in the University District in Seattle. A small place called [The Sahara]. It was this restaurant that spawned my love for Middle Eastern cuisine. I don't know how many friends I had taken to that restaurant.


Next, we shared the shawarma. In my opinion it was just okay. There used to be an African restaurant called [Cous-Cous] in Shibuya that served really awesome shawarmas. I even set up a couple of get togethers at that restaurant. Usually, ten to twelve people would gather for a feast as we shared some great food, drinks and a lot of merriment. Damn, some of my early years in Tokyo were quite memorable.


And then we had to try the kushari. I think this was my favorite dish from the choices we tried. I may even attempt to make this at home some day.


If memory serves me right, we washed down our meal with some hibiscus juice.


Bon Appetit!


No comments: