I've been looking forward to trying Besbas since it opened - but my two Yemeni sidekicks deserted me so it's taken me a while to get there. But oh my it was worth the wait.
Decor is minimalist and my first impression was of a bustling kitchen and ... SHOES! Shu? Yes, a whole raft of shoes scattered around the place! What? Ah ok, it became clear pretty quickly that most of the restaurant consists of small rooms where you can sit on the floor, in traditional fashion. Shoes are left at the 'door' of course.
Now, on with the show. First of all, while the food is clearly influenced by African and Indian flavours, its taste is pretty unique. And this was true for the broth-like soup we started with - marak. It's quite an underwhelming taste to begin with but then you squeeze lemon into it and add a couple of spicier side dishes and it gathers a wonderful piquant flavour. This is comfort food at its best.
The fahsa we ate next was absolutely superb. Shredded lamb with tomato and spices, capsicum and onion, served in a clay pot sizzling and bubbling in front of us. The amazing bread served with it was incredible. Tear a bit off, use it like a fork to scoop up the stew: job done. You can actually have the bread made with less oil but pfffft why would you? It's superb the way it is.
I scarcely had room for the madfoon but once the chicken was unwrapped from the foil, the aroma hit me. Irresistible! The rice was fluffy and the chicken fell off the bone.
We finished, regretfully, with a superb mixed BBQ with the best mix of spices. I'm now trying to get back there for lunch or dinner to try all the other stuff I didn't get to try. And to perfect my eating with one hand technique. And to have dessert. Although, I'll need to have that fahsa again ... I foresee many visits on the horizon!
And just a note to finish, the quality may be high but the price is low and the service on point. This really is a great option for those of us looking for great food with good value.