La Khaïma is a BYOW African restaurant whose menu includes a variety of vegetarian dishes. The explained explained that this style of cuisine is considered nomad food. We knew very little about this style of cooking before our dinner at La Khaïma. We started our evening by being told to remove our shoes before sitting at our large communal table for the true La Khaïma experience.
We started our meal with a delicious, hearty lentil soup with ginger, cumin, and paprika. It was more of a thick purée than a traditional soup with a broth, and we absolutely loved it. We also tried La Khaïma’s hibiscus barberries and mint juice. Atigh’s Hibiscus is bottled and sold on site as a naturally sweet organic fizzy drink. Atigh’s drink comes in a variety of flavours, but we tried the original flavour at La Khaïma.
But what is nomadic African food? At La Khaïma it is a mix of Middle Eastern, Mauritanian, Moroccan, and Egyptian. They are vegetarian, they have gluten free options and all their meat is Halal. They even offer vegan dishes for those so inclined. We were served hummus and pita, a traditional Middle Eastern appetizer that was delicious at La Khaïma. It was thick and chunky and we couldn’t get enough of it!
We shared all their main dishes family style, a massive plate with wooden spoons was set in the middle of the table for all of us to serve ourselves. It didn’t make for the best photos, but the meat was tender and slow cooked, reminiscent of a Spanish paella. We sat in a Moroccan salon, eating from a low table and enjoying the live music coming in from the adjoining hall.
We tried a delicious meaty rice dish and two couscous dishes, one of which was vegetarian couscous and the other was a chicken couscous. Although we are not fans of couscous in general, we appreciated the flavour of the couscous dishes at La Khaïma.
Our favourite dishes were the slow cooked meaty rice dish that had quite the kick, and the vegetarian couscous with tender veggies and Middle Eastern spices. The chicken couscous was our least favourite of the dishes because the pieces of chicken were too thick and the flavours were the most muted.
La Khaïma is about more than the food, they offer a unique experience into Nomadic African life. Speak to the owner and chef, he will introduce you to a completely different way of living. If you’re looking for an interesting culinary experience in Montreal, delving away from Eurocentric cuisine, look no further. It isn’t necessarily our favourite style of cuisine, but it broadened our horizons which is what the Montreal melting pot is all about.
Our Rating: As Expected
Tagged: 142 Fairmount, African Restaurant, Atigh’s Hibiscus, BYOW, BYOW Montreal, couscous, H2T 2M5, Hummus, La Khaïma, La Khaïma Montreal, Middle Eastern Montreal, Montreal African Restaurant, Montreal Restaurant, Plateau Restaurant