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4.1 out of 5 stars12
4.1 out of 5 stars
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Greg and Lucy Malouf have previously written, among others, three books relating "culinary journeys" through the Middle East - Saha (Lebanon and Syria), Turquoise (Turkey) and Saraban (Iran). Some nice recipes in these for sure, but they were much more coffee table books than cookbooks, with a large proportion of the text relating their journey and the photography being less food related and more what they like to call "evocative", revolving around old blokes lounging around smoking ciggies and so on.

Thankfully, this new release is all about the food. It perhaps does not come as too much of a surprise to learn that there is a significant amount of recycling here, with a considerable number of recipes carried across verbatim from those earlier publications. There are however more than enough fresh modern creations herein to make it a worthwhile purchase even for those who have the earlier three.

Probably around a third of the recipes have photographs. The photography is excellent, and many of the recipes, especially the modern creations, are beautifully styled and worthy of presentation at top fancy restaurants - plenty of colour with use of edible flowers for example. One minor annoyance is that where some photographs are overleaf rather than opposite the recipes' text, the photographs are not labelled. One slightly greater annoyance is the recipe text, which is in a not particularly large font and in too light a grey colour - not necessarily easy to read for some of us. Yet another instance of the self-indulgence of the book stylists overriding usability and practicality.

This would be a definite five star book, but loses one star through a combination of rehashing existing recipes, the not so easy to read text, plus it would be nicer to have more of the excellent photography for more of the dishes.
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on 19 May 2012
I am a great fan of the Lucy and Greg Malouf's work but this book contains a substantial number of recipes that have featured in their other books. Also, the type is terrible - pale and very difficult to read. I find myself peering at the text. Design-wise it is cold - their other books are very 'coffee table' and this one is even more so, though without the travel photography so evident in the other books. The dishes are shot in a studio setting so it isn't a pleasurable book to deal with. However there are still some fabulous recipes.
If you own their other books, though, be warned that you may be getting recipes you already have.
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on 22 April 2012
Middle eastern food is really coming into it's own now and to me publications like this, and those of Silvena Rowe are the reason why. The recipes are clear and concise, some a bit fiddley but nothing a bit of patience can't deal with, and so far the few I've tried have tasted great. But one of the best features of this book, is the photograpgy. The dishes look utterly stunning in the pictures, and yet achievable. I do like to see a dish as well as read how to make it, and so often the photography puts you off trying something new, but these just make you want to get in the kitchen and have a go. The only reason it got 4 stars and not 5 is because there isn't a picture of every dish. That would make this book perfect.
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on 9 May 2015
One of the best books I have. Actually I cant remember that I liked any book as much as I like this book. I give this book 10 starts not only 5. I am from the Middle East, so i can judge on the Arabic food quite easily, this book has great recipes. Malouf is so innovative , he is twisting some traditional recipes in an amazing way that he is almost creating a totally different dish, and still as good as the original recipe or even better.
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on 31 May 2013
This book is a treasure trove of wonderful recipes - most fairly new to me. Avid cooks will love this book, even less experienced will, but some of the recipes could be a slight challenge for those who haven't used some of these ingredients before - so be prepared to source a good Middle Eastern or Asian store - or look online. You will really impress your guests!
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on 19 April 2012
Malouf is the latest book by Greg and Lucy Malouf; Greg is executive chef at MoMo in Melbourne, and has now taken charge of the cafe at Petersham Nurseries, while his former wife Lucy is a food writer and editor. New Middle Eastern Food is their latest book, giving a wide ranging overview of recipes from all over the Middle East, particularly including Lebanon, Syria, Iran, North Africa and Turkey.

The book is formatted around the Middle Eastern eating style of sharing dishes; it's divided into seven main chapters; each chapter being further subdivided. There are chapters on soups, small dishes, large dishes, side dishes, bakery, sweet and larder. So, for example, the "large dish" chapter is split into seafood, and meat and poultry sections.

Flicking through this book, it's hard to know where to start. The flavours used look enticing, but as Middle Eastern cuisine isn't our daily cooking style, so it's a real treasure of new flavours and textures. Choosing what to cook is made slightly harder, as not all of the recipes are pictured, but it does mean that the final dish is a lovely surprise when served!

I would highly recommend this book for those who are looking to expand their repertoire, although it must be said that the influences shown in the book aren't just restricted to the Middle East: cock-a-leekie with dates and croques monsieurs is a dish that doesn't strike me as something from the depths of the souk. Sounds delicious, though. As does Portuguese marinated quail, whole salmon fillet in fragrant salt, tarator-style, yoghurt-baked fish with walnut-herb crumbs, barbecued young chicken scented with cardamom and thyme, chicken cooked on coals, Aleppo-style, with crushed walnuts, lemon zest and mint, crisp Egyptian pigeon with coriander salt, roast leg of lamb with spiced pumpkin... I could go on, but you get the idea. However, as the recipe names indicate, the food is more towards more complicated the restaurant type dishes.

This is a book that's well worth adding to our cook book library; we have nothing like it on the shelves, so it's gained a rare space. If you want to expand your cooking horizons, I suggest you have a look.
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on 18 December 2012
Thank you for an elegant and beautiful book with some delightful recipes and some fun stories

Greg Malouf is a star ad his food is beautiful, elegant and above all tasty
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on 29 June 2013
The writing is very faint but don't let that put you off, this is a fantastic book packed full of interesting recipes which work.
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on 17 February 2013
This book inspires me to cook middle eastern food and gives a good insight in the flavour profiles associated with it.
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on 30 September 2013
I very much enjoyed this book and wished to order another 2 copies for presents but find they have now increased in price buy £10.00 which I cannot afford!
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