>> Iraqi House Restaurant | Eat the World NYC

21 August 2019

Iraqi House Restaurant


Hints of a new Iraqi restaurant at this location started showing up way back in April as plans began to be posted. The main blue and yellow sign above was up by the end of May, but the gate remained stubbornly closed until just last week when all the paperwork was in order and the city finally came through with their visits. New York City now gets to enjoy the cuisine of Iraq, the latest nation to have its own exclusive restaurant.

The owner Mohammed is currently in charge of the entire operation, getting some help from family in the kitchen while he searches for a chef. He admits that the cuisine is very difficult to cook so finding the right fit will be hard, although he does not seem to mind doing the extra work himself for now.

Buraq ($4.99 for 3): an Iraqi-style spring roll.

The sign also makes the bold claim of "A Taste You Love," not speaking of the future when your mind will be changed but confident that the love already exists.

A trip to Paterson, NJ and the home of the area's only other Iraqi restaurant last year is plenty to convince you that love is imminent either way.

Kubba ($4.99 for 3): ground meat and onions within a fried rice crust.

Mohammed plans to expand the menu over time as the kitchen settles into a rhythm, but for now grab a group so that you can order a full complement of starters and appetizers. The two crispy nibbles above and two dips below were all great to start whetting the appetite and cure the hunger pangs.

For now the dips arrived with simple pitas, but the restaurant does plan on bringing in Iraqi bread as soon as possible.

Hummus ($5.99): spiked with a bit of paprika.

Jajick ($5.99): Yogurt dip with cucumber, garlic, and mint.

On weekends, Iraqi House Restaurant serves dolma ($13.99, below) which should not be skipped. Ground lamb, spiced rice, and garlic are halfway stuffed into large grape vine leaves.

Bamia ($13.99): Okra stew cooked with tomatoes and lamb.

Mohammed is obviously inspired by the fast food culture of the country he was born in as well, and has added a couple interesting items to the menu including an Iraqi burger, which was not yet sampled and the Iraqi wings ($9.50 for 5, below) which come served with a side of fries and soda.

The wings are described as being covered with their signature sauce, which is reminiscent of a spicy sweet and sour coating you might find on wok-fried chicken from a Chinese takeout. Now they just need a TV to show the big game.

As the main entrees start rolling out, the beautiful basmati rice used here becomes the focus. A touch of turmeric is used and creates the slight yellow color, while the rice is infused by bay leaves and cardamom. It made for a very nice base in each case.

Qoozi (more often Quzi) is a dish found in Iraq and its Arab neighbors around the Persian Gulf by different names, cooked in a few different styles that all require long preparation times and result in extremely tender meats. The qoozi lamb ($18.99, below) will probably be the focal point of many group meals here, and highest on the list of recommendations from the chef. In addition to lamb that practically melts away in your mouth, the fragrant rice is covered with small chopped noodles, yellow raisins, peas, and nuts, which all combine to create a slightly sweet blanket to wrap the savory dish.

The dishes are as if your grandmother made them, somehow the tastes feel like home.

For a little variety in an otherwise lamb-heavy meal, the qoozi chicken ($14.99, below) is presented in a similar manner. The leg and thigh have a delicious rub and the skin is slightly crispy by what appears to be a pan fry. Again the sweetness of the raisins and nuts creates wonderful warming tastes.

It would be a shame to have a meal without makhlama ($11.99, below), usually an Iraqi breakfast specialty, but opening hours here in Bay Ridge prohibit that. This does not necessarily need to be served with meat, but the version here cooks the requisite eggs together with lamb, the resulting concoction served over another bed of the basmati rice.

Versions of this can vary from extremely saucy pans that are drowned in tomato sauce or can be dry like this one, with the sauces and spices cooked down into the blend.

As with many Middle Eastern menus, there are also kababs available, but this group of six had reached its limit for one dinner. Follow up your meal with a cup of strong Iraqi tea ($2.50, not shown), meant for after the feast to help things settle.

If the menu does expand as promised, return visits to try the new items (and the burger) will be highly anticipated and of course updated here when they happen. Pay a visit to Chef Mohammed in the meantime and experience something very special.

Iraqi House Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, I appreciate it, wish u the best in your Life 🌹


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