An Unforgettable Fine-Dining Experience at Zerzura - A Middle Eastern and Mediterranean Lounge

Last week I was invited to a bloggers table at Zerzura, a Middle Eastern and Mediterranean lounge located in the heart of the luxurious Qutub Hotel in Delhi.


If you're looking for a place seeped in mystery, laden with exotic food, wines and alcohol, Zerzura is the place to be!

Zerzura

From the moment you enter into its premises, you're awed by the stylish interiors and comfortable furniture, all reminiscent of the hidden oasis that Hamid Keila* once discovered.

[* For the uninitiated, historical writings from Libya tell the tale of Hamid Keila, a camel driver who was tended to by the Zerzurians after he survived a storm and days of thirst that killed all others traveling with him in a caravan.]

Seating Arrangement at Zerzura

A visit to Zerzura in the Qutub Hotel is akin to chancing upon a new and enchanted mystical land. Brainchild of restaurateur and owner, Shagun Somani, Zerzura is nothing short of a dream project.

Shagun Somani

Opened nearly four years ago, Zerzura has already won several accolades, including the 'Best Lebanese Restaurant' by Times of India in 2013 and 2014, respectively. 

Mezzetini (Coffee, Green Apple, and Cranberry) at Zerzura

The lounge can accommodate more than 140 guests at a time, and features live events from Wednesday to Sunday of every week.

Chandelier at Zerzura

Shagun had to wait to find the right setting for creating this land of mystique. As part of a three-year hospitality plan, he now plans to launch more restaurants as well as a potential hotel and resorts vertical.

Zerzura's Entrance

At Zerzura, the cuisine combines the best of Middle East, North Africa, and some elements of the Mediterranean.

Here are my top recommendations for food and beverages at Zerzura.

Cold Mezze

A classic combination of Hummus, Baba Ganoush, and Cacik can hardly go wrong. And top that with Mukhalil and Pineapple and Pomegranate Tabbouleh - you have a potential winner!

Veg Mezze Platter

Hot Mezze

There's a lot in store for the connoisseurs of meat. I absolutely loved the Ankara-style lamb tarts, Kibbeh Meshwee, and chicken wings with Sumac and Za'atar.

Non-Veg Mezze Platter

If you are a vegan, the hot mezze will surprise you with the choicest selection of falafel and cheese samosik.

Both cold and hot mezze are served with fresh pita from the wood-fired oven.

Kebabs

The Orfali kebabs at Zerzura are literally to die for! If you like the Turkish cuisine, you'll love these spicy char-grilled mince lamb and bell pepper kebabs best served with black pepper dip.

Orfali Kebabs

Vegetarians in the house should go after the potato and pepper chelo, an in-house variation of the all-time favorite chelo containing mashed potatoes, bell peppers, butter, garlic, and pepper. Best served with a garlic aioli.

Potato and Pepper Chelo at Zerzura

Mains

Casablance Cous Cous with Roasted Summer Vegetables Tagine (Vegetarian)

This classic gravy based dish is cooked in tall, conical tagine and contains a classic blend of seven vegetables served with dollop of thick and creamy yoghurt, accompanied with cous cous.

Casablance Cous Cous with Roasted Summer Vegetables Tagine

Chicken and Saffron Tagine with Green Olives and Preserved Lemon

You'll absolutely love this saffron flavored chicken tagine prepared with green olives and preserved lemon.

Bus Station Kefta with Eggs and Tomatoes

A sumptuous non-vegetarian dish made with eggs, tomatoes, and mutton kofta (the name 'kefta' is derived from two popular dishes - kebab and kofta).

Egg and tomato dishes are quite a rage in bus and train stations and ports around the Middle East, especially during long journeys, where travelers waiting for connecting transport services savor dishes like these to sustain themselves.

Bus Station Kefta with Eggs and Tomatoes

Imam Biyaldi (Vegetarian)

Legend has it that when this dish was first presented to the Imam (priest), he literally swooned at the rich flavors of braised eggplant stuffed with onion, garlic, and tomatoes ... and hence the name!

Imam Biyaldi

Dessert

Traditional Baklava

You cannot leave Zerzura without having this rich, sweet pastry composed of layers of filo dough with chopped nuts and rich pistachio filling, held together with honey.

Traditional Baklava

If you have room for more, go after the Date and Fig Gratin with Rosemary and Honey Ice Cream or M'hanchha with Cinnamon Ice-cream.

Date and Fig Gratin with Rosemary and Honey Ice Cream
M'hanchha with Cinnamon Ice-cream

Wines

Zerzura Sangria

Probably the best red wine based sangria I've tasted in a long time, fortified with Apricot Brandy along with peaches, oranges, and apricots.

Zerzura Sangria

One of the major attractions at Zerzura is the Belly Dance Night that takes place every Wednesday, 9pm onwards. The charm and energy of belly dance on the tunes of great Arabic music plus a host of international dancers from Morocco and Middle East sets the floor on fire at Zerzura every Wednesday.

Belly Dance Night at Zerzura

That's not all! You can also attend the following events at Zerzura:
  • Ladies night every Thursday, 9pm onwards: Dedicated to all the ladies in the house. Expect the best rock, retro, and commercial music. 
  • Mystical Sufi nights every Friday, 8pm onwards.
  • Saturday club nights, 9pm onwards (with Girl in a Martini Glass act).
  • Sunday sun-kissed brunch and sundowner with belly dance, 12pm onwards.

The lounge is open every day from 12 noon to 1am. A meal for two here would ideally cost you around INR 4000, which is not bad considering the superior quality of food and service that you'll get.

So what are you waiting for? Come to Zerzura, the only place in Delhi with an all-weather air-conditioned outdoors.

Zerzura - Clarion Collection - Qutab Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato