Food Review: Aqaba

Lower Parel is fast becoming the city’s newest wining and dining area, and catching up to that other city favourite: Bandra. Not that we’re complaining. Aqaba is only the latest restaurant and bar to open in this buzzing location. Situated on Level 5 of Peninsula Business Park, this plush 3,000sq ft establishment is named after a Jordanian city. However, you’d be mistaken if you thought it served only Middle-Eastern cuisine—Aqaba’s main menu comprises of dishes from Greece, Turkey and Lebanon, with provincial specialities of South Italy, Spain and North Africa. Want to know how our dining experience was? Read on.

The Décor and Ambience

aqaba interiors

Aqaba is one of the better-looking restaurants in town, with a posh Mediterranean feel to it. The largely blue-and-brown décor has traces of white and colourful cushions to liven up the space. There’s also an alfresco area, where you can enjoy the short Mumbai winters. Aqaba has also taken care of any business or private events, with its two indoor banquet rooms of 1,000sq ft each of which have pre-function areas and can be combined into one huge room. Special mention must be made of the staff—our server deconstructed the bar menu and made sensible cocktail suggestions, which turned out to be great choices for us.

The Food & Drink

Mezze Platter

We started our meal with the Domates Shorbe (Rs 250), a tomato and barley soup with Arabic spices. A fun take on the traditional tomato soup, this was hearty and comforting. At Aqaba, you can order a Mezze Platter (Rs 825 – Rs 975) where you can select any six mezze (out of 25) along with pita bread. We picked hummus (deliciously creamy), tzatziki (fresh and piquant; our pick of the lot), babaganoush (didn’t satisfy our very high standards), fatayer (great choice), labneh (the sour taste didn’t sit well with us), and falafel (perfectly crisp and tasty).

Moussaka

After all that mezze, we didn’t have room for a lot of food, so we stuck to the Vegetable Moussaka (Rs 550) and the Vegetable Tagine (Rs 650). The moussaka, a Greek dish consisting of eggplant, spinach and mushroom baked in a clay pot, was fragrant and delicious as was the tagine, a Moroccan tomato stew with fresh seasonal vegetables.

pear and cinnamon martini

Our cocktails of choice were the Pear & Cinnamon Martini (Rs 475) and the Apple & Rosemary Martini (Rs 475)—both brought out the flavours of their fruits effectively and were tasty concoctions that we’d definitely try again. We ended our dinner with the Hot Brownie & Ice Cream (Rs 275). Even though this dessert is practically on every restaurant menu in the city, Aqaba’s version, with dark chocolate sauce, had us drooling all over our plates. This is one place that definitely knows how to do its brownies well!

The Overall Experience
Aqaba is a great place to go to, whether you want to have post-work drinks with colleagues or a more upscale dinner with family and friends. Definitely a place we’d keep in mind for multiple visits!

Address: Club House, Level P5, Peninsula Business Park, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel
Timings: Daily, from 11am to 1am
Contact: 022 6151 2222
A meal for two with alcohol costs approximately Rs 3,000 (plus taxes) and without alcohol, Rs 2,500 (plus taxes)

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