Pubs & Clubs
The Habibi Arabic restaurant in Coventry with reviews new and guide.
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024 7622 0669
142 Far Gosford Street,
Coventry, CV1 5DY
This is a restaurant I have heard a lot of good things about so we will visit in Jan. Keep checking back here fro a full review of the Habibi in Coventry
Habibi is Coventry’s original Arabic restaurant and winner of the Coventry Godiva award in 2004 located in Far Gosford St, near the centre.
Open 7 days a week, this reputably family-friendly restaurant welcomes all who are ready to experience the sounds and tastes of the east.
Every dish on the menu is freshly prepared using a diverse range of herbs and spices. All of the food is Halal and there is a large selection of vegetarian dishes.
Originally, the Arabs of the Arabian Peninsula relied heavily on a diet of dates, wheat, barley, rice and meat, with little variety, with a heavy emphasis on yogurt products, such as labneh . As the indigenous Semitic people of the peninsula wandered, so did their tastes and favored ingredients.
Ther food mainly used are the following items in Arabian cuisine Meat: lamb and chicken are the most used, beef and camel are also used to a lesser degree, other poultry is used in some regions, and, in coastal areas, fish. Pork is completely prohibited—for Muslim Arabs, it is both a cultural taboo as well as being prohibited under Islamic law; many Christian Arabs also avoid pork as they have never acquired a taste for it..
Dairy products: dairy products are widely used, the most of which is yogurt and white cheese. However, butter and cream are also used extensively.
Herbs and spices: mint and thyme (often in a mix called za'atar) are widely and almost universally used; spices are used much less than the Indian cuisine but the amount and types generally varies from region to region. Some of the included herbs and spices are sesame, saffron, turmeric, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, and sumac. Spice mixtures include baharat.
Beverages: hot beverages are used more than cold, coffee being on the top of the list, mostly in the Gulf countries, although tea is also served in many Arab countries. In Egypt tea is the more important hot beverage than coffee for instance.
Grains: rice is the staple and is used for most dishes; wheat is the main source for bread, as well as bulgur and semolina, which are also used extensively.
Legumes: Lentils are widely used as well as fava beans and chick peas (garbanzo beans).
Vegetables and fruits: this cuisine also favors vegetables such as cucumbers, aubergine (eggplant), courgette (zucchini), okra and onions, and fruits (primarily citrus), are often used as seasonings for entrees. Olives are a large part of the cuisine as well in addition to dates, figs and pomegranate.
Nuts: almonds pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts are often included.
Greens: Parsley and mint are popular as seasonings in many dishes, while spinach and Corchorus (called "molokhia" in Arabic) are used in cooked dishes.
Dressings and sauces: The most popular dressings include various combinations of olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, and/or garlic, and tahini (sesame paste). Labaneh, thinned yogurt, is often seasoned with mint and onion or garlic, and served as a sauce with various dishes.
Notably, many of the same spices used in Arabian cuisine are also those emphasized in Indian cuisine. This is a result of heavy trading between the two regions, and of the current state of affairs in the wealthy oil states, in which many South Asian workers are living abroad in the Arab Gulf states.
Essential to any cooking in the Arabian Peninsula is the concept of hospitality. Meals are generally large family affairs, with much sharing and a great deal of warmth over the dinner table. Formal dinners and celebrations generally entail large quantities of lamb, and every occasion entails large quantities of Arabic coffee.
In an average Arab Gulf state household, a visitor might expect a dinner consisting of a very large platter, shared commonly, with a vast mountain of rice, incorporating lamb or chicken, or both, as separate dishes, with various stewed vegetables, heavily spiced, sometimes with a tomato sauce. Most likely, there would be several other items on the side, less hearty. Tea would certainly accompany the meal, as it is almost constantly consumed. Coffee would be included as well.
There are many regional differences in Arab cuisine. For instance, mujadara in Syria or Lebanon is different from mujadara in Jordan or Palestine. Some dishes such as mensaf (the national dish of Jordan) are native to certain countries and rarely if ever make an appearance in other countries.
Unlike in most Western cuisines, cinnamon is used in meat dishes as well as in sweets such as Baklava. Other desserts include variations of rice pudding and fried dough. Ground nut mixtures are common fillings for such treats. Saffron is used in everything, from sweets, to rice, to beverages. Fruit juices are quite popular in this often arid region.
 Structure of meals
There are two basic structures for meals in the Arab world, a regular structure and a structure specific for the month of Ramadan.
Cafés often offer croissants for breakfast. Breakfast is often a quick meal consisting of bread and dairy products with tea and sometimes with jam. The most used is labneh and cream (kishta, made of cow's milk; or qaimar, made of domestic buffalo milk). Labneh is served with olives, dried mint and drizzled with olive oil. Pastries such as manaqeesh, sfiha, fatayer and kahi are sometimes eaten for breakfast. Flat bread with olive oil and za'tar is also popular.
Traditionally, however, breakfast used to be a much heavier meal especially for the working class such as lentil soup (shorbat 'adas), or heavy sweets such as knafa. Foul, which is fava beans cooked with garbanzo beans (chick peas), garlic, lemon and olive oil is a popular working class breakfast as well.
Lunch is considered the main meal of the day, traditionally eaten after the noon prayer. It is the meal where the family groups together and, when entertaining, it is the meal of choice to invite guests.
Rarely do meals have different courses; however, salads and maza are served as side dishes to the main meal. The latter usually consists of a portion of meat, poultry or fish, a portion of rice, lentil, bread or bagel and a portion of cooked vegetables in addition to the fresh ones with the maza and salad. The vegetables and meat are usually cooked together in sauce (often tomato, although others are also popular) to make maraq, which is served on rice. Most households would add bread, whether other grains were available or not.
Drinks are not necessarily served with the food; however, there is a very wide variety of drinks such as shineena (or laban), Karakaden, Naque’e Al Zabib, Irq soos, Tamr Hindi as well as fruit juices. During the 20th century, Coca-Cola and similar drinks have also become popular.
Dinner is traditionally the lightest meal although in modern times and due to changing lifestyles dinner has become more important.
 Ramadan meals
In addition to the two meals mentioned hereafter, during Ramadan sweets are consumed much more than usual. Sweets and fresh fruits are served between these two meals. Although most sweets are made all year round such as knafeh, baklawa and basbousa, some are made especially for Ramadan such as Qatayef.
Futuur (also called iftar), or fast-breaking, is the meal taken at dusk when the fast is over. The meal consists of three courses: first, an odd number of dates based on Islamic tradition. Then soup would be served, the most popular is lentil soup, but a wide variety of soups such as chicken, freeka (a soup made from a form of whole wheat and chicken broth), potato, maash and others. The third course would be the main dish, usually eaten after an interval where Maghreb prayer is conducted.
The main dish is mostly similar to what is usual for lunch, except that cold drinks are also served.
Is the meal eaten just before dawn when fasting must begin.