Mamara Turkish Cuisine, Manalapan NJ
Heading back home from a sporting event without a reservation, we decided to try Mamara, a place we have enjoyed but had not been to in over a year.
Arrived at 8:45, the place was full but the very gracious host was able to squeeze us in.
Upon sitting down a bowl of tasty nicoise olives and a large basket of warm pita triangles was given to us, the pita would soon be put to good use.
For starters we decided to share one cold and the other hot. Cold appetizer was hummus, a bowl of smooth mashed chick peas, lemon, olive oil and garlic. Very tasty and more than enough for two to share. All that pita came in handy :)
The hot appetizer was falafel, A mixture of broad beans and ground chick peas with herbs, lightly fried and served with tahini sauce. This was the only disappointment of the night as they were bland and could have used more herbs in the mix.
Also ordered the red lentil soup on the recommendation of our server. It was fantastic, one of the best soups I've had in some time. A thick hearty blend of lentils, herbs, spices and a nice smoky note.
Entrees were also winners. DW had the Chicken Kebab-Tender Chunks of white meat chicken marinated and char grilled. She ordered bulgur from the choice of starches. Expertly grilled and spiced she really enjoyed the dish.
I had the Chicken Chops-Thighs of chicken pounded and marinated then grilled. Tasty grill flavor while retaining the juices from the chicken. I ordered rice with this. Very good flavors and have lunch for today.
It was Saturday night and at about 9:30, the lights went low and a belly dancer came out and performed to music. We had fun and although the dancer was urging me to dance, I didn't want to push back relations with Turkey 50 years :)).
Great fun and several people did get up and dance.
Mamara has enlarged the restaurant since our last visit, there is now another room which can be used for dinner or parties. Last night there was a Middle East celebration of about 30 people in that room.
Nice value here as 2 apps, 1 soup and 2 entrees was $53.00 before tax and tip.
Its BYOB and we had a nice syrah with dinner. Here is the website if interested.
Njchow, the ambiance inside is actually quite nice. There are a couple of levels to the room and the tables are spaced well apart from each other. I agree the building from the outside looks a bit strange but I think that is due to the entrance being on the side, not the front.
The people (owner, host and server) are all very friendly and accomodating.
we tried mamara tonight for valentine's day. the food was solid, but the service was a little flighty. we ordered the cold sampler appetizer, the chicken mixed grill, and a chicken kabob. we especially enjoyed my entree, the chicken kabob with yogurt and butter sauce. the food portions were generous, so we will be enjoying the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. we'll return soon.