Thursday, July 12, 2012

First Look: Orkeed Restaurant

Posted By on Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 8:00 AM

click to enlarge Orkeed offers $4.99 lunch specials including chicken makni -- chicken sauteed with butter, chile pepper, creamy tomato sauce, cilantro and mixed spices. - MABEL SUEN
  • Mabel Suen
  • Orkeed offers $4.99 lunch specials including chicken makni -- chicken sauteed with butter, chile pepper, creamy tomato sauce, cilantro and mixed spices.

Orkeed Restaurant (3191 South Grand; 314-664-3940) opened its doors in south city in the space formerly filled by Al Waha Restaurant & Hookah Lounge this past spring. After a facelift to both Al Waha's menu and interior, owner Taif Jassim along with chef Wael Khudair pick up where Al Waha left off a few months prior to continue offering Middle Eastern food to the South Grand neighborhood.

Orkeed comes lavishly decorated, inspired by a historical Iraqi palace. While the theme and color scheme remain the same as its predecessor, new wall hangings embellish the interior, and a built-in tented lounging area in the dining room's window features decorative tapestries and comfortable pillow-topped seats.

Chef Wael Khudair and owner Taif Jassim. A lounging area in the window of the dining room. - MABEL SUEN
  • Mabel Suen
  • Chef Wael Khudair and owner Taif Jassim. A lounging area in the window of the dining room.

Jassim says that the cuisine includes influence from Baghdad, Afghanistan, Jordan and Iraq, noting dishes such as the Orkeed Combo Grill ($12.50) featuring chicken, lamb and beef kebab served with basmati rice and a side salad, and mushat ($3.99), fried cauliflower mixed with parsley, garlic, potato and spices served with spicy green chutney, as his personal favorites.

(Left) Hookah comes in more than twenty different flavors which can be mixed and matched. (Right) Mushat: fried cauliflower mixed with parsley, garlic, potato and spices served with spicy green chutney - MABEL SUEN
  • Mabel Suen
  • (Left) Hookah comes in more than twenty different flavors which can be mixed and matched. (Right) Mushat: fried cauliflower mixed with parsley, garlic, potato and spices served with spicy green chutney

A lunch menu featuring dishes for only $4.99 includes plates such as chicken biryani sauteed with green peas and chickpeas, served with a side of spicy green chutney and spicy basmati rice. The restaurant continues to offer hookah but no longer serves alcohol. Orkeed Restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight and Sunday from noon to 9:30 p.m.

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