The New Surf & Turf: A Bedouin-Style BBQ on the Shores of the Mediterranean


March 25, 2013 in News

1 - Traditional Arabic set up on the beach (2)

Imagine comfy cushions and glowing candles strewn on the sand, the aroma of olive wood-scented roasted meat wafting on a sea breeze, the sun setting in the distance and the waves of the Mediterranean lapping your feet on your own private beach…

The chefs at Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria have transported the enchanting atmosphere of a desert barbeque to the shores of the Mediterranean with Siwa Nights, an epic dining moment created solely for guests looking to soak in a quintessentially Egyptian experience.

Traditional Arabic set up on the beach

Inspired by the cooking techniques of the Siwa Oasis — Wahat Sìwah in Arabic – a stretch of fertile land on Egypt’s border with Libya, Siwa Nights evokes the feelings associated with a land of plenty, rich in a diet of dates, olives and meat.

Guests can take in the glowing Mediterranean sunset before settling down in a traditional Arabic set-up on the beach to enjoy a night of delicious food in an atmospheric setting. The highlight of the meal is the traditional Bedouin cooking technique, Abou Mardam, which involves digging a natural oven in the sand and placing chunks of meat in a copper pot — usually a whole goat cut into pieces, although beef and lamb can also be used — to be slow roasted for around two hours until tender.

Removing cooked meat from copper pot before serving

Before the roasting process begins, the meat is marinated in a special mix of locally-sourced herbs cultivated in Siwa such as rosemary, cinnamon, cumin and cardamom. A roaring fire made from olive wood is built in the oven, and when it has turned into fiery charcoal, the meat is added. The top is then covered by sand and another layer of burning wood.

The goat usually used with this technique of preparation is brought up in Siwa on a special organic diet of dates that affects the quality of the meat, making it rich and tender enough to slide off the bone.

The dinner is served with rice, oven-cooked mixed vegetables, oriental salad and a selection of mezzeh. At the end of the dinner, Siwa lemongrass tea is offered as a healthy natural digestive. The refreshing tea is made from gently boiling lemongrass in water over firewood and sweetening the result with sugar or mountain honey.

Siwa tea

For details on the Siwa Nights dining experience, contact Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria.

On Twitter
  1. Craig Dryhurst

  2. Four Seasons Bangkok
    Four Seasons Bangkok: Countdown to the last 3 days of fine #sake, Masumi's presence at #Shintaro. Don't miss this chance to try! http://t.co/Sr006MYp6K #FSTaste

  3. Anthony Frunzi
    Anthony Frunzi: Strawberry Bourbon cocktail rooftop beverlywilshire #fstaste latimesfood http://t.co/zl6d4j3MCn

MORE #FStaste, #FSWine TWEETS
One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. -Virginia Woolf






Sites We Love
101 Cookbooks
Blogger Heidi writes about the recipes that intersect her life, travels and interests. She write cookbooks, love natural foods, take lots of pictures while doing a good amount of globetrotting.
Chez Pim
Chez Pim posts her straightforward thoughts, recipes, cooking-equipment advice, and more in a much lauded blog that takes you voraciously along on her culinary travels.
David Lebovitz: Living the Sweet Life in Paris
Named one of the Top Five Pastry Chefs in the Bay Area, David Lebovitz left the restaurant business in 1999 to pursue writing books and now lives in Paris full time.
Lemons and Anchovies
A food fanatic who’s seriously addicted to buying cookbooks, jumps on the blogging bandwagon so that she can finally make a dent on her “Recipes-to-try” list.
Roast Duck and a Big Gooey Cake
Sit back, read on and stay awhile. There's a dish or story here for you, and plenty of room at the table.