One look at the agenda for the evening and I knew that this was not just another media tasting session. It was a truly exotic, intriguing and memorable experience all on its own.
Are you ready?
Hammam Tearoom made its debut in Malaysian shores about a month back.
With a bright colored Moroccan theme for that evening, I marched into Hammam at a little pass 6pm, slightly earlier than planned, anxious yet curious on what to expect. It was, after all, my first foray into everything-Moroccan.
With the talented and beautiful Chermaine Poo of Hammam.
What you’re about to see in today’s review are not merely on the food itself, but also a glimpse into the cultural side of the Moroccan experience I had.
I will be bringing you to the Hammam Spa first, followed by a Tea-sipping and Henna-drawing affair, then finally on to the Hammam Tearoom Dinner Feast and a Belly dancing dance-off to close the night.
Thank you Hammam for the amazing photographs. I wouldn’t be able to capture these on my own.
To set your expectations – Moroccan cuisine is very unique and exclusive. It sits at the other end of the mainstream Malaysian palate. Hence, it requires a little sense of curiosity and perhaps an open mind, as many of its dishes are an acquired taste.
I, for one, as a food enthusiast, couldn’t wait for dinner to start that evening!
More pictures of the dinner feast later.
I was enthralled upon stepping into Hammam Spa.
It was obvious that the colorfully decorated Moroccan and Mediterranean pattern tiles were the star of the spa. Individually selected and tastefully furnished. The place was dimly lit for maximum comfort and structural pieces were evident as well.
Having had the Bangsar branch opened a whooping 8 years back – that’s legendary status for a spa business – the Publika branch is a slightly younger version of that, at barely a year old. Do note that the Tearoom is only at Publika. We had a 10 minute shoulder massage after that.
Review of My Favorite Cocubine Hammam soon.
Bumped into Honey from Fried Chillies. Havn’t seen her since Nuffnang Food Fest!
What better way to enjoy tea but after a massage!
At Hammam Tearoom, the herbal tea list is extensive. From Classic Teas (Rm12) like the Moroccan Mint Tea and Louiza Tea, to Herbal and Fruit Teas (Rm13.80) like the Malika De La Rosa and Hand of Fatima Protection Tea. If you’d like, they also serve a range of Moroccan Smoothies (Rm16) and Juices (Rm12) as well.
I had a go at their signature Moroccan Mint Tea. It had a nice sweet and spiced flavor to it and leaves a lingering minty aftertaste in the mouth.
Some of us had a go at the Henna tattoos as well. I, on the other hand, decided on the glittered stick-on ones instead.
Before we knew it, dinners ready!
We were ushered into the Hammam Tearoom.
Everyone was clearly bewitched by the Hammam charm. There was, of course, so much more than just those pretty Moroccan tiles. The Tearoom resembles a traditional Moroccan courtyard house – a living room with folding doors and a terrace section. The thing that caught my eye particularly were those metal works – the geometric window sill and the metal lamps hung high that had oodles of character.
And that’s Chermaine and Adam welcoming us to their dinner party.
And with Cindy, my partner of the day.
Before I start on the food, I would like to apologize for the warm-hued pictures. The cozy and dimly-lit setting simply did not permit better quality pictures from my amateur camera. Likewise, Moroccan cuisine aren’t exactly photography friendly as well – dull colors, same tone, but you’d be surprise how distinct its taste would be.
For tonight’s tasting purposes, some of the portions you will be seeing below are not the standard sized portions.
Mango, Pineapple and Orange Smoothie. Avocado and Dried Dates Smoothie.
I had multiple refills of these delicious smoothies! The avocado smoothie was thick, rich but not too sweet. And as for those opting for a refreshing type of smoothie, I would highly recommend the orange flavored ones. The full glass goes for Rm16.
Moroccan Latte (Rm12). Banania (Rm12.50).
The Moroccan latte on the left was lightly spiced and pretty mild, quite the contrary to the rich Moroccan coffees. The French infused chocolate banana milk tea on the right, also tasted quite mild.
A compulsory medley of Moroccan salad that every table should order. Missing the beetroot already.
Aubergine Zaalok. Rm12.90.
Served with bread, the mashed eggplant in tomato sauce with fresh herbs were perfect dippers. But frankly, it reminded me of a preserved vegetable dip, something I’m not entirely fond of.
Pastilla aux Fruit de Mer. Rm20.
Wrapped in a crispy golden crust and filled with vermicelli, black mushrooms and a mixed of seafood in a spicy and tangy tomato sauce. My friend said it was like a large Chinese popiah! I really enjoyed this.
Grilled Chicken Wings. Rm14.90.
The grilled chicken was delicious. It was light and extremely crisp on the outside and made nicely tender inside. A little dry perhaps for some, but I thought this was a great appetizer to kick start the meal.
Cous Cous Rania. Rm38.
If there’s one dish I would come back for, it would be for this Cous Cous Rania.
The grains of cous cous had toothsome textures; the lamb was stunning and had melt in the mouth textures; the slow-cooked lamb broth added just the right amount of savory flavors to the dish. This was easily the Star of my meal.
Tagine of Beef Kefta and Shashouka Eggs. Rm24.90.
I’ve had plenty of meatballs but never like this – the beef kefta, which is essentially meatballs, was quite a treat. The shashouka eggs were poached in a light tomato sauce that only needed a gentle poke, revealing a delicious stream of yolk. It complimented the overall flavors and textures of the dish.
Tagine Poulet Au Citron. Rm30.
Traditional Moroccan chicken that was simmering with spices and spilling with flavors. The sauce had a sour twang to it from the use of preserved lemons and was very rich in spices. As such, the sauce could be an acquired taste.
Tangia of Lamb. Rm38.
A Marakesh specialty of slow-cooked lamb with preserved lemon and saffron in a clay jug – some really new stuff to me here. The dish had surprisingly harmonious flavors, but I thought the zest of the lemon overpowered the natural flavors of the lamb. Perhaps I’m not accustomed to preserved lemons in Moroccan cuisine just yet.
Moving on to desserts.
Molten Chocolate Cake and Passionfruit Ice Cream with Tangerine.
This was the perfect dessert to jump start my sweet tooth. My friend was raving on how amazing the chocolate molten cake was – no oozing chocolate this time round, but with a warm and fluffy center and nicely crisp edges. The passion fruit ice cream was like a gelato and the tangerine beneath added juicy zests to every mouthful.
Passion fruit marshmallows with Ice cream and Jelly.
Another combination that had me happily indulging silently. The glass of ice cream and jelly was delicious – I would never say no to ice cream. The passion fruit marshmallows on the other hand, was cringe-worthily sweet!
Helmed as one of Hammam’s best seller and also what I thought was one of the better versions of baclava I’ve had in town. It was very sweet no doubt but also sinfully addictive. You have to try these too.
More pictures of the amazing dinner feast.
That evening, we were tantalized by a belly dancing performance by Nanncy, who is a professional belly dancer and also runs a dance academy in town.
And when I thought that it was merely a performance that I’m watching from afar, we was coerced to dance in front of a live audience. Malu-weih. But what a fun way to wiggle away some of those delicious cous cous!
And a group picture and some farewell snapshots to end the night.
Overall Rating: 7.5/10. It was an evening filled with laughter and entertainment. Hospitality was an A+, food was great and the ambiance was fantastic. I was undeniably in awe of the Moroccan settings. The authenticity of the food was also impressive. Though I have to repeat myself again that, some would fall in love with Moroccan food; some will rethink of returning. So if you’re curious and want to try something new, or simply looking for a place to sip exotic Moroccan tea after a fantastic spa session at Hammam, this would be it. Thank you once again Hammam for the amazing evening.
Hammam Spa and Tearoom is located at:
Address: Lot 3, 4, 5, Level G4, Red Zone, Publika Solaris Dutamas, 1 Jalan Dutamas 1, Mont Kiara KL.
Phone: 03-6201 0882
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Opening hours: 12pm – 11pm Daily
Located at one corner shop lot of the top most floor, a level up from Swich Cafe, or opposite from The Red Bean Bag. The place is in the Red Zone. With ease of distance, remember to park at the Red Zone!
Food Blog by: Spicy Sharon