In honour of the launch of our new segment ‘Side Dish’, we thought it quite apt to talk about, well… side dishes. One of the most fantastic things about the Middle Eastern food we covered in our latest post, is the idea of sharing and having all the food at once, like a proper feast. There tends to be lots of delicious elements to a Lebanese meal which offers many various colours, temperatures and textures, but requires various bits of crockery in which to serve them. Obviously, it isn’t imperative to provide a plethora of expertly styled cookware at each dinner party, but when it’s a type of food you like to cook often, a little investment is never a bad thing. So, we took a little trip in to Manchester City Centre to see what we could get our hands on.
Home Sense is our Mecca. If you haven’t been you need to change that immediately; it will change your life. It is the same company as TK MAXX, and is a fabulous place to buy homeware, cooking equipment, food, furniture and basically EVERYTHING you could possibly need to furnish a house. Oh yeah, and it is all top brands reduced to reasonable prices. What is not to love?
As always, we left it a little late, so picking up a genuine North African tagine pot proved to be rather difficult, but Home Sense saved the day with the china oven dish we found. It was sort of the shape we were after, deep and an absolute steal at £7.99. We also picked up the gorgeous turquoise long dish from here, another steal at just £9.99, and an extremely versatile dish to have in your cupboard; we served out tabbouleh on this, but you could really use it for anything from crackers to canapés.
On a trip to pick up some ingredients from the Comptoir Souk Shop we happily discovered that you pick up all sorts of nifty traditional-looking Lebanese treats from a square of baklava to a £600 silver tea urn. We picked up two beautiful hand painted bowls, decorated with a floral design. These are traditional throughout the Middle East and can be found in their hundreds in markets and bazars, but we have never seen them in the UK, especially Manchester. We picked up two to serve our hummus in and they cost £4.50 each. Where we unsuccessful in finding a full-size tagine dish, Comptoir unleashed our inner kawaii girl with their mini tagine dishes. They were SO cute and tiny and we just couldn’t resist at £6.75. It really is the perfect place to embellish your Lebanese Feast with traditional cookware.
The magic carpet is optional, but we served out feast on the floor with big comfy cushions. It may seem a bit uncouth, but if its good enough for the Queen of Sheba, it is good enough for us.
Until Thursday, dear readers.