The Tarbush menu which consists of primarily Lebanese and Arabic delicacies, as the slogan suggests, is probably the most complete Middle Eastern offerings you can find in Penang. We were lucky to have had the chance to meet with the owner and Managing Director of the Tarbush chain of restaurants, Mr Mohyiddin Al Halabi and his assistant. According to his assistant, the restaurant aims to be the best restaurant in Penang. We were told that the restaurant also has the environment and its customers' health in mind with its built-in smoke reducer and treated water.
The restaurant has undoubtedly brought the dining experience in Penang to the next level, with its authentic Middle Eastern fare, beautiful setting, Syrian-inspired decor and contemporary concept. The restaurant is made up of two levels, the ground floor being the more elegant air-conditioned dining area while the upper floor is the more contemporary open air dining area. The table tops are made of beautiful and colourful imported Syria tiles.
Elegant air-conditioned dining on the 1st floor
The restaurant is already enjoying very brisk business and currently running on full capacity for dinner and the clientele are made up of a 50% mixture of locals and tourists respectively.
The restaurant is right next to the beach so you will get a great sea view if you opt for the tables by the windows on the ground floor or at the patio on the 1st floor.
Staircase leading to the first floor
Open air dining on the 1st floor
Table and floor tiles imported from Syria
(2) Mutabal - Grilled eggplant dip made creamy with tahina sauce, drenched in olive oil
(3) Tabouleh - A salad of chopped parsley, tomatoes, cucumber with lemon juice and olive oil
(4) Green Salad - Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber tossed in lemon juice and olive oil
(5) Wara Alnab - Pickled wine leaves stuffed with rice, mixed with tomatoes, onions and herbs
We have always loved dips and salads and Tarbush has not failed us. The sheer amount of olive oil brought out the flavour of the hommus and mutabal. The best thing about the salads was the refreshing lemon juice that will perk your appetite on any day.
Main - Tarbush Mixed Grill (RM35)
A medley of grilled arayes, lamb chop, shish tawook, shish kebab and lamb cubes
Shih Tawook - Boneless chiken meat marinated and grilled, served with Tarbush garlic sauce
Arayes Lamb - Minced lamb, onion and tomato stuffed in traditional grilled Lebanese bread
Shish Kebab - Minced seasoned lamb grilled
Lamb chop - Lamb chop marinated in herbs and spices and grilled
Mahalabia is a milk cream pudding garnished with chopped pistachios and baklava is a Middle Eastern finger pastry filled with nuts.
Mr Mohyiddin was very kind and generous to have given us complimentary mahalabia and baklava to savour. The baklava was very fresh and the phyllo pastry very cunchy and crispy with the right amount of nuts. What a great finale to end a great meal.
Arabic Coffee (RM5)
It was definitely a great dining experience with delicious Middle Eastern food, cozy and elegant ambiance and good service. Thanks to Tarbush, we now have good Middle Eastern fare to satisfy our tastebuds in Penang. We will definitely come back again to try other items on the menu.
Baklava on display
Small garden and fountain at doorway leading to restrooms
(Next to The Ship at Batu Ferringhi)