Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Egyptian cuisines share some similarities and one of the most obvious we sampled at the preview was Warq Einab (RM22), brined grape leaves stuffed with rice. These dainty rolled parcels were surprisingly palatable - the grape leaves weren't as tart and salty as I had expected and the rice filling was agreeably tasty. The pleasant taste left a good impression as past encounters with this speciality hasn't been up to scratch.
Another common appetiser across the region is Hommous (RM16), the evergreen chickpea spread. Of course, recipes vary from chef to chef and restaurant to restaurant but I had yet to savour a dud so this delightfully smooth and dense spread was a joy to eat with warm, pouffy Arabic bread.
Even the rustically creamy lentil soup or Shorbah Adas (RM26) won us over with its back to basics approach. Every spoonful was a testament to the chef's TLC, warming our hearts and tummies with its soulfulness.
We took an instant liking to carb and protein laden speciality like Lamb Kabsah (RM48)
with Roz Boukhary (long grain rice cooked with lamb marinated with assorted spices, RM25). The meat was subtly suffused with aromatic spices; its delectable accent amplified by the flavourful rice. We also tried Roz Saiadiah (RM18), irresistible fried onion rice which served as a foil for several other mains.
Chef Ayman proved to be a dab hand at grilled spring chicken or Dajaj Ala Elfaham (RM36). The juicy chook bore hints of warm, smoky spices which should leave you asking for more.
Similarly, seafood and fish are often thrown cooked on the grill. The mixture of spices may differ but the key ingredients' inherent taste is maintained. Proof of the pudding was the sublime accents discernible in Jambary Mashwi (grilled prawns with saffron sauce, RM55) and Samak Mashwi (fried fish glazed with tahinah, RM46).
Kashul (almond pudding, RM25). Perfumed with rosewater, the pudding looked stodgy but once I sampled it, the luscious treat reminded me a little of creme brulee although it was less dense.
For dining convenience, Chatz Brasserie is offering a Middle East Specialities Set Menu comprising an appetiser, a soup and a choice of Mandy (RM88 nett), Dajaj Kabsah (RM85 nett) or Samak Saiadiah (deep-fried fish in pungent sauce, RM85 nett) for the main followed by a dessert. The dishes reviewed here are also available a la carte from 12noon to 12midnight daily until end October 2016.
For reservations, please call CHATZ BRASSERIE, tel: 03-27828301. Address: Lower Lobby Level, PARKROYAL KUALA LUMPUR, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur.