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4.8 out of 5 stars151
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 5 July 2015
The best cookery books about a foreign cuisine for a domestic audience tend to be written by natives of the country concerned who have come to another country and adapted the recipes. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy watching Rick Stein and the like touring around whichever country they consider to be of interest at that particular time, but the problem is this. You see them in a variety of restaurants scribbling down ingredients and methods in a notebook and then they try and recreate the restaurant food in their own kitchen. The result is a cookbook full of beautiful photographs but over-complicated recipes.

Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer are two Israelis who have set up shop in London serving the food of their native country. This book presents those recipes in a way that is easy to reproduce. Another problem with TV chefs is that they think there is one true recipe for each classic dish, and sometimes base a TV series around the search for it. In fact in most cuisines there are endless variations on those classic dishes. This book gives recipes for three different versions of falafel (Jerusalem style, Haifa style and Yemeni style) and different versions of tabbouleh for spring, summer and winter.

If you are looking for Mediterranean recipes 'with a twist' (and whenever I hear that phrase I look forward to yet another fusion-confusion abomination) then this is not the book for you. If you are looking for ideas to use fresh food, in season, without too much fuss then this book will provide a lot of inspiration.
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on 19 August 2015
This gorgeous book has totally transformed what I cook and how I cook. It is written in an engaging style which is simple, without being simplistic, pared down, personal without being egotistical, and full of genuine enthusiasm. The emphasis is on using fresh ingredients in dishes which reflect the author's Middle Eastern roots, and which are not daunting to the average cook.
So far I have cooked the courgette fritters, the figs and goat's cheese with honey, the watermelon and feta and several bulgar salads. All have been a resounding success.
I wholeheatedly recommend this book.
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on 23 June 2014
I was told many years ago that one should never judge a book by its cover. Well, they were wrong, this book's eye catching cover is as good as its contents. Knowing little or nothing about Middle Eastern cooking, the unfamiliar dishes and their recipes sound a little daunting, but when you start to read the details you find that they are easy to follow and understand. The photographs are gorgeous and inspirational. Do plan ahead the shopping list for your menu as some of the ingredients will be beyond comprehension or availability to the average village shop for any emergency last minute shopping!
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on 27 July 2015
One of my favourite recipe books, I've had fantastic results using it and the passion shown by the author,s is infectious. If this is your first step into Middle Eastern cooking start with this you won't look back.
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on 8 November 2014
The restaurant is amazing. So far have made the hummus, butter bread and prawns in orange and tomato - fabulous!
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on 18 September 2014
I work near this restaurant and try and eat there frequently. More often now I have the book as you can try the food and then cook it! It is more authentic than Ottolenghi but equally superbly crafted. Fantastic food for entertaining, easy to cook but has that kind of twist and zing that makes everyone think you're a genius. You will need good stockists for some things but nothing seems ridiculously obscure. I love using it but also love reading it as it's characterful and fun and evocative.
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on 20 April 2016
I purchased this book as a birthday gift for a friend, after reading several positive reviews online (particularly on The Guardian website).

Of course, I had a quick flick through before gift-wrapping the book, and it was just as I had expected it would be - full of colour, and vibrant and enthralling in both word and image. The different sections of the book are introduced with charming anecdotes, which bring the recipes and the processes surrounding their creation to life.

However, I was a little disappointed when the book arrived to find several dark, smudgy marks on the back cover and spine. It was nothing too noticable, but a clean and pristine copy would have been preferred, especially since the book was bought as a gift.
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on 25 June 2014
I've had this book for a week and haven't stopped cooking from it. Everything I've tried is really straightforward and absolutely delicious, and they seem to be very forgiving recipes - if I haven't had an ingredient I've substituted something else and it's still tasted fantastic. The cherry cake has been made twice - neither time with cherries! and was even more delicious the second time round.
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on 30 June 2014
This is an engaging and practical book. The recipes are inspiring but the instructions are clear and helpful. i have cooked four things from it so far and all have been excellent. I bake a lot and the cherry cake was one of the best I have made - will definitely become a regular.
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on 26 June 2015
Love this book! Only received 2 days ago and the first recipe which leapt out at me was the Meat balls in a sweet and spicy tomato sauce. I made them and can highly recommend them. Utterly divine! I had all the ingredients in the fridge and cupboard so no problem. I want their new baking book but will wait till its lowered in price.
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