Find out the meaning behind the common arabic words we use in our menu so that you can understand and appreciate our food better!
A restaurant reveals itself as authentic not only through the taste of its food or the ambience of the place but also through the language by which food is expressed. The name of the restaurant gives us a glimpse of the writing behind their food, but it is the Menu that people are given a sense of what type of experience they’ll get if they dine in your restaurant.
At Elie’s Tent, the Jabbour Family uses some Arabic words to refer to their dishes especially since there are no words outside the Lebanese culture that can capture how best to express their food. With roots from Assyrian, Persian, Turkish and the French languages, the Arabic words used in their Menu encompasses the rich culture and the vast history of how their food was made.
Elie’s Tent is proud to present some of the common words and phrases used in our authentic Lebanese Menu.
Hummus – is ‘Chickpeas’ in Arabic but it does not only literally mean the word in its English translation; for Hummus is much more than that. Hummus is a whole culture in itself for it has its history in the Middle Eastern culture, and then its worldly development through globalisation. In a way, Hummus became a sign or a symbol of Middle-Eastern culture especially of their cuisines. At Elie’s Tent, Hummus is often served as a Dip partnered with Pita Bread. It is also sometimes served with Meat our just plain Hummus with herbs and spices for vegan and vegetarians.
Mazat – literally translates as ‘lubricate’ in English and as follows in Spanish and French. For a non-Arabic speaker or someone who has no idea of Middle Eastern languages, understanding what Mazat is can be hard. But since the words Appetiser and Starter means ‘to lubricate or prepare the stomach’ for the main course, we can now associate Mazat with starter dishes. At Elie’s Tent, we have two sections under our Mazat category: the Mazat Bi Laham and the Mazat Vegetarian. We serve small-portioned serving as entrees or as side-dishes best paired with our individual platters.
Laham – means ‘meat’ in English when you translate it from the Maltese language, a country in the Mediterranean region which has Siculo-Arabic influences. To those who practice Islam, Laham is not just meat but it is halal meat from a permissible source that has undergone sacred procedures under the Islamic law and as guided by the Islam religion. At Elie’s Tent, we use the halal meat for all our non-vegan and non-vegetarian dishes. Our speciality is the Shawarma Laham which is Lamb tenderloin marinated in our secret recipe and then grilled on the spit.
Be sure to equip yourself with these simple words and phrases so that the next time you visit Elie’s Tent, you won’t only be confident in pronouncing your order but you’ll also proudly know what food you are ordering and therefore make your experience a much more authentic one.
Stay tuned for more updates to learn the rest of the secrets behind our Lebanese Menu! And in the meantime, practice what you’ve learned by visiting Elie’s Tent, one of the best Vic Park restaurants in Perth, and enjoying our variety of authentic Lebanese food.