Restaurant Review: Alka Team Ajman
Avg. Cost per Person:45 Dhs
Location:Opposite China Mall, Al Jurf Industrial Area , Ajman
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It’s different. From the majlis style seating and the cubicles where one can sit on the mat, to the ornate vessels in which food is served and the pressure cookers in the kitchen, Alka Team Restaurant in Ajman offers a different experience to the connoisseur of Saudi Arabian traditional food.
The kabsa style of cooking is well known in Saudi Arabia, and now residents in the UAE have a chance to savour this in Ajman. Situated opposite China Mall in the City Life Building, the restaurant serves fresh Saudi traditional food.
We had mushroom soup and yoghurt salad with cucumber for starters and then had a look at the activity in the glass-partitioned kitchen.
More than a dozen pressure cookers in the kitchen gave an idea about how the cooking is done. In fact, this is a technique called ‘madghut’ where the meat, vegetables and rice are all pressure cooked. The entire process takes 20 minutes.
The spices used in kabsa are largely responsible for its taste — black pepper, cloves, cardamom, saffron, cinnamon, bay leaves, nutmeg and of, course, the very visible black lime. The main ingredient that accompanies the spices is the meat — usually chicken, goat, lamb, camel, beef, fish and shrimp.
After having mushroom soup and salad, we were ready for the main course. We tried small portions of a variety of madghut dishes to get an idea of the range of food available. We began with Chicken Amber and Magloba chicken (with vegetables). Both were rich in spices, texture and meat. In fact, meat is served in large quantities in all the dishes. The chef informed us that 700g of chicken is used in each chicken dish. As the food was pressure-cooked, the flavour of the spices stood out.
We also tried small portions of the Mutton Bab Al Hind and Madghut Prawns (red). We left space to savour Madghut Camel (500g of meat per plate). The meat was cooked well, marinated to the right proportions and could easily cater to two.
All dishes are made with long-grain rice like Basmati and the portions are large.
One of the great positives of the restaurant is that all meat is bought fresh from the local market close by every day. Also, as the rice, meat and spices are all pressure cooked, the taste of freshness comes through with every dish.
The food served at Alka Team Restaurant is sumptuous and fresh. Work up an appetite before visiting the restaurant to do justice to the large portions of food on the tray.