January 1, 2024

Kunefe/Knafe at Sayad on Eldridge

 Kunefe, knafeh, kunefa, kunnefe, kunnefa....so many different spellings when one starts to do research.

Sayad Mediterranean Kitchen is a Houston treasure and I recently had the opportunity to dine here with a Lebanese national. Which meant I got to try some dishes that I did not know about. And to enjoy perfect renditions of some I did. Let me tell you. The hummus, baba ganoush, and other meze are as good as one can find in Houston.

A meze I was unfamilar with combined yogurt and bits of grilled lamb. I learned that it is called fateh and that there are many variants on the one we had today. Additionally, a kofta casserole with tahini was good.

A fish dish on the menu, Homemade Sayiddeh should be considered and ordered without hesitation.

Kunefe though. A quick search with Wiki indicates it is Turkish. "While a similar dish, knafeh, is found throughout the Middle East, künefe is distinctly Turkish, believed to have originated in Hatay and made specifically with the province's namesake cheese, which is similar to fresh mozzarella. "

But my host begged to differ. And the one we had today was special and unique for me. Instead of the melty cheese, its center, underneath the layer of crispy kataifi, called Ashtah, was made from clotted cream, probably semolina, possibly corn starch, sugar and rose blossom water. It was delicious and I am already dreaming about having it again.

Sayad should be high up on your list of places to visit in Houston. Check out these photos from today.

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