This is an English-Indonesian bilingual entry.

So I went to the Middle East on a group tour with my family. We visited Egypt, Israel, Palestine and Jordan. One of the aunties had been on a similar tour before and her number one complaint was about the food. This led to other aunties packing instant noodles and boxesful of condiments so they could eat “properly” during the tour. I, on the other hand, was looking forward to the middle eastern cuisine. I’d tried some foods prepared by my Arab friends at school, but I hadn’t got much to try. So, the more falafel and hummus I’d have during the tour, the better!

Saya berkunjung ke Timur Tengah dengan rombongan tur yang sebagian besar pesertanya adalah anggota keluarga saya. Kami akan mengunjungi Mesir, Israel, Palestina dan Yordania. Seorang tante pernah ikut tur serupa dan keluhan nomor satunya adalah soal makanan. Maka jadilah para tante lain bela-belain bawa berbungkus-bungkus mi instan dan sekotak penuh sambal, bumbu, dll. supaya mereka bisa makan yang “bener” selama tur. Saya justru penasaran banget sama masakan a la Timur Tengah. Dulu pernah nyicip masakan teman-teman Arab di sekolah tapi saya cuma kebagian sedikit. Jadi, makin banyak falafel dan hummus yang saya makan di tur kali ini, makin bagus!

=== EGYPT ===

The first meal I had after landing was breakfast at our hotel in Giza. The breakfast time was nearly over and there were not many items left, but I managed to get something middle eastern: Egyptian stuffed vine leaves called warak enab. But it turned out too sour for me. Ahah…

Makanan pertama setelah mendarat adalah sarapan di hotel kami di Giza. Sebenarnya jam sarapan sudah lewat, jadi sudah tidak banyak makanan yang tersisa. Tapi saya masih sempat cobain satu makanan yang timur tengah banget: daun anggur isi yang di Mesir disebut warak enab. Tapi rasanya terlalu asam buat saya. Hahah…

egypt1

We were visiting this perfume shop in Giza and were served hibiscus tea (karkade). I was immediately smitten! It was love at the first sip. Lol! Moreover, later I found out that hibiscus tea was the pharaohs’ preferred drink. Oww…

Saat sedang mengunjungi sebuah toko parfum di Giza, kami disuguhi teh hibiscus (kembang sepatu) yang disebut karkade. Saya langsung “jatuh cinta” pada tegukan pertama! Hahaha! Dan konon teh ini adalah minuman favorit para firaun. Wauw….

egypt2

Lunch was American-style at the TGI Friday’s. We had double-carb (chips and rice), double protein (two pieces of grilled chickens) and chocolate cookie crumble with vanilla ice cream.

Makan siangnya a la amerika di TGI Friday’s. Menunya berupa karbohidrat ganda (kentang dan nasi), protein ganda (dua potong ayam panggang) dan chocolate cookie crumble dengan es krim vanila.

Had dinner while cruising the Nile River. I was extremely tired after long flights from home and a whole-day programme. But my eyes were wide open the moment I got to the desserts table. It was delightfully colourful! Below are some of my catches. The black ones are a couple of dates; the brown one on the right is kanafeh. I still don’t know what the other two are. The pink one looks like turkish delight but I know it isn’t because I spooned it (and the white one, too) from a huge bowl.

Malamnya kami cruising di Sungai Nil. Saya capek banget dan tidak terlalu berselera makan setelah perjalanan panjang dari Jakarta yang langsung disambung acara tur sehari penuh. Tapi mata saya langsung melek begitu melihat meja dessert yang isinya makanan berwarna-warni! Berikut ini beberapa “hasil tangkapan” saya. Yang hitam sih buah kurma biasa. Yang kecoklatan itu kanafeh. Sampai sekarang saya masih gak tau yang dua lagi. Yang pink tampangnya seperti turkish delight, tapi saya yakin itu bukan turkish delight karena si pink (dan juga si putih) itu saya sendok dari sebuah wadah besar.

egypt5

Second day’s breakfast: assorted cheese, rolls, Egyptian breads and…what else, karkade the hibiscus tea!
Sarapan di hari kedua: aneka keju, aneka roti, roti mesir dan…apalagi kalau bukan karkade si teh hibiscus!

egypt6

The last meal in Africa, at the Sinai Rest House in Suez.
Makanan terakhir di Afrika. TKP: Sinai Rest House di Suez.

egypt7

Back in Asia. We stayed overnight at a hotel in Taba. My desserts for dinner were assorted baklavas and cakes. I thought the white one was white chocolate mousse cake, but it actually was yogurt cake. πŸ˜€ The other one was (milk) chocolate mousse cake, though. For breakfast I had, among others, assorted cheese–including some spiced ones!–and yummy falafels. For the drink…of course my all-time favourite, karkade!

Balik lagi ke Asia. Kami menginap semalam di hotel di Taba. Yang sebelah kiri adalah piring dessert saya untuk makan malam: aneka baklava dan cake. Kirain yang putih itu white chocolate mousse cake, tapi rupanya itu yogurt cake. πŸ˜€ Yang satu lagi sih memang (milk) chocolate mousse cake. Waktu sarapan saya ambil aneka keju–ada yang dilumuri rempah lho!–dan falafel. Untuk minumannya…ya sudah pasti karkade dong!

=== PALESTINE & ISRAEL ===

Lunch at a cafeteria in Qumran. Those are “kreplach” dumplings, aren’t they?
Makan siang di sebuah kantin di Qumran. Yang putih-putih itu kayaknya “kreplach”.

ispa1

We stayed one night in Jericho. The dinner wasn’t memorable (that I didn’t take any pics), but the following morning my eyes twinkled when I saw huge dish after huge dish of hummus, and cheese too! The hams and sausages were there only to make my dish look more colourful. πŸ˜€

Malamnya kami menginap di Yerikho. Makan malamnya biasa aja (makanya saya gak foto-foto), tapi paginya mata saya kontan berbinar-binar melihat piring-piring besar berisi hummus, dan juga keju! Aneka ham dan sosis itu cuma biar kalo difoto kelihatan lebih berwarna. πŸ˜€

ispa2

We then stayed two nights at a hotel in Bethlehem. The meals seemed “normal”, with corn rice as the main feature. It was the desserts that made my day. One evening I took one of every cake served, completely oblivious of the amount of time I would need to munch them all. But the champions were the puddings…or whatever they were. Some of them looked pretty similar to what I’d got on the Nile River Cruise.

Kemudian kami menginap dua malam di sebuah hotel di Bethlehem. Sepintas makanannya kelihatan “normal”. Selain bermacam-macam roti, yang selalu ada itu nasi jagung. Tapi tetap dessert-nya lah yang bikin saya bahagia! Saking kalapnya saya ngambil setiap macam kue bolu yang ada, dan samasekali gak sadar akan butuh waktu lumayan lama untuk ngabisin semuanya! Tapi juaranya adalah para puding…atau apapun itu. Beberapa di antaranya mirip dengan yang saya makan di Nile River Cruise.

ispa3ispa4ispa5

Sadly, for me, the meals we had during the first half of the Palestine & Israel leg catered more to the aunties’ and uncles’ taste, that is, east and southeast Asian cuisine. We dined twice at a restaurant in Bethlehem, then near the New Gate in the Old City, and then again in Haifa. The foods were good, though. Some of the dishes were actually delicious. I just didn’t look forward to having them during the trip.

Tapi sedihnya–bagi saya–makanan di paruh pertama kunjungan ke Palestina dan Israel lebih ngikutin selera para tante dan oom, yakni makanan asia (timur). Kami makan chinese/indonesian food dua kali di sebuah restoran di Bethlehem, terus di sekitar Pintu Gerbang Baru di Kota Tua Yerusalem, dan juga di Haifa. Makanannya sih oke-oke; dan ada beberapa yang enak banget. Saya cuma males aja makan makanan seperti itu saat sedang travelling di Timur Tengah.

We then moved to Tiberias and stayed two nights at a hotel overlooking the Sea of Galilee. The food was crazy! Look at that gigantic meat patty! There were so many items I couldn’t help thinking, ‘I don’t think I can try this one and that one today. But will I ever see them again tomorrow?’ They also served sashimi, Galilean-style, for breakfast. πŸ™‚

Kemudian kami menuju Tiberias dan menginap dua malam di sebuah hotel yang menghadap ke Danau Galilea. Makanannya gila banget! Lihat aja tuh daging raksasa! Saking banyaknya jenis makanan di situ, sampai-sampai saya mikir, ‘Hari ini kayaknya udah gak sanggup mau nyobain yang itu. Tapi besok masih ada gak ya?’ Waktu sarapan ada juga lho sashimi a la galilea. πŸ™‚

On our last day in Tiberias, we had lunch at a Lebanese restaurant where I had this yummy vegetable shawarma.
Di hari terakhir kami di Tiberias, kami makan siang di sebuah restoran lebanon. Dan saya bikin shawarma isi sayur yang mantap ini!

The restaurant also served tilapia dishes a.k.a. musht or best known as St Peter’s fish. I joined the Team Grilled, which I later regretted. We had to wait longer than Team Fried for our fish to be served. Then my cousin said his was still somewhat muddy. Mine was plain and didn’t have that “grill” flavour. Will join Team Fried next time!

Restoran ini juga menyajikan ikan tilapia alias musht, atau yang lebih dikenal sebagai “ikan Petrus”. Saya pilih ikan bakar. Belakangan nyesal juga sih, soalnya ikan bakar lebih lama masaknya dibanding ikan goreng. Lalu sepupu saya bilang kalau ikan bakar dia masih agak “muddy”. Ikan saya tawar banget dan gak berasa seperti dibakar. Kapan-kapan saya pilih ikan goreng aja lah!

ispa17

=== JORDAN ===

And so we crossed the Jordan River to…well, the country of Jordan. The first meal we had was at a cafeteria located somewhere in the Jordanian desert, probably around Karak. Wow, just realised now that that was a dish full of carbs! No regrets, though. It later became my “fuel” for a long walk in Petra!

Lalu kami menyeberangi Sungai Yordan dan masuk ke negara Yordania. Makanan pertamanya adalah menu makan siang di sebuah kantin di tengah-tengah gurun Yordania, mungkin di sekitar Karak. Wah, saya baru sadar kalau saya ngambil sepiring penuh karbohidrat! Tapi itu yang kemudian bikin saya gak pegal jalan kaki di Petra!

jordan1

But it was these rice puddings that caught my attention. One of the staff told me what they were called in Arabic, but then I left in a hurry without writing them down, and now I forgot what they are. D’oh!

Tapi yang mencuri perhatian saya adalah kedua rice pudding ini. Saya sempat bertanya ke staf kantin tentang nama si puding dalam bahasa Arab, tapi setelah itu saya harus buru-buru pergi tanpa sempat mencatat, dan sekarang saya lupa apa namanya. Dodol!

jordan2

We stayed overnight in Petra. For dinner, I had another dish full of carbs followed by yet another round of funky puddings. (Seriously, people, please tell me what they are!) The next morning, I had a go at some funky pastries as well as that mysterious grey soup(?). The soup was cold. I didn’t know if it was supposed to be consumed that way or with something else or I should’ve asked the staff to heat it. Lol!

Kami menginap semalam di Petra. Saat makan malam, lagi-lagi saya mengambil sepiring penuh karbohidrat, diikuti dengan sepiring penuh puding funky. (Please kasih tau namanya apa!) Pagi berikutnya saya mencomot sejumlah roti funky dan semangkuk sup misterius. Supnya dingin. (Bukan kayak dari kulkas; cuma gak ada anget-angetnya.) Saya gak tau apa memang dimakannya seperti itu atau mestinya pakai sesuatu atau seharusnya saya minta supaya diangetin. Huahaha!

At the end of the tour we had lunch at a restaurant near Mount Nebo before heading to the airport. And it was time for one last carbo-galore: hummus, bread, long grain rice, fusilli. The fusilli was covered in herbs and spices, including whole dried cloves!

Di penghujung tur kami makan siang di sekitar Gunung Nebo sebelum menuju bandara. Dan ini saatnya pesta karbohidrat untuk terakhir kali: hummus, roti, long grain rice, fusilli. Fusilli-nya ajaib banget; bertabur rempah, termasuk cengkeh kering utuh!

jordan5

 

— Extra —

I bought these chocolate bars during transit at the Doha Airport. They were actually products of Dubai, UAE. The chocolate had very rich taste, and it’s small and expensive. πŸ˜€

Saya beli cokelat ini waktu transit di Doha. Sebenernya ini produk asal Dubai. Rasa cokelat susunya rich banget. Cokelatnya sendiri kecil dan mahal. πŸ˜€

qatar

 

*****
“Awards”:
Winner: Cheese!
Best impression: Karkade
Curiosity: Myterious puddings
Special mention: Carbo-galore in Jordan

Accommodation:
– Mena House Hotel, Giza, EG
– Hyatt Regency Taba Heights, EG
– InterContinental, Jericho, PA
– Saint Gabriel Hotel, Bethlehem, PA
– Emily’s Boutique Hotel, Tiberias, IL
– Petra Panorama Hotel, JO

Advertisements