One of the few things I miss about living in the UK is the diversity of the food.
As great as Medellín is, when you are heading home on a Friday night you are unlikely to be faced with the option of Indian, Chinese, Thai or Arabian food. More likely arepa and cheese. Or something fried.
So when I found that there was a highly recommended Arabian restaurant called Restaurante Tabun that needed checking out, I was in. With bells on.
Restaurante Tabun is situated a couple of blocks up the hill from Parque Lleras on a quiet little street with a selection of nice looking restaurants.
We headed in on a Wednesday which is two for one day. Who doesn’t love a two for one day? Just be sure to sign up to their members club (it is free) on the members section of their website as they will ask for confirmation of your membership (your cedula number/identification).
The restaurant is spacious with two floors and would accommodate 80 people more or less. There is a dining area on the floor (with cushions of course) should you want to dine more authentically Arabian.
The ambience was relaxed. The clientele smart and professional looking. And the overall décor and lighting was pleasant.
So to the food and beverages. With Arabian (and some Indian) fare being the call of the day, there were plenty of shawarmas, kebabs and curry dishes to choose from.
We decided to start with Kibbe (meat filled empanada) 4,100 pesos ($2) and Dolmeh (vine leaves with rice/meat filling) 3,900 pesos ($1.9), alongside some fruity beverages, Cocus (pineapple, coconut, and banana) 7,900 pesos ($3.80) and Mejaseq (Passion Fruit, Mango, melon) 7,900 pesos ($3.80).
Mains of Murg Masala (a chicken curry in coconut sauce) 30,900 pesos ($15) and Lamb Tabun (signature Lamb kebab) 34,900 pesos ($17) were chosen through some finger-pointing and dodgy Arabian accents.
Cocktails were 17,000 pesos ($8) and small glass of red wine 10,500 pesos ($5). It could get expensive if you are visiting on a non-Wednesday.
The drinks came nice and early. They were sweet (a bit too much for my partner in crime) and refreshing.
The waitresses, whose style of service was best described as unobtrusive, brought over a large flatbread (it was delicious) and eight little side dishes with hummus, salads and an array of fine accompaniments.
It turns out that this comes free when ordering a main dish. It was awesome and a lot of fine quality food.
So when our Kibbe came (a little dry) and Dolmeh (a little greasy) in miniature form, we realized there was no real need to order starters. At least not our starters.
However when our mains came, we were not disappointed. The curry had fine flavors and succulent meat, while the Lamb Tabun was tender and tasty. We were both very pleased with the choices and quality of fare.
Overall it was a very enjoyable experience.
For those who are missing Arabian food and more flavored curries, kebabs and shawarmas it would be high on my list to take out friends, or for a more exotic date choice.
However I would probably make sure that date would be on a Wednesday…