Foodie Friday: Aroma
REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. – There are times when the Foodie Friday team feels lucky to have the job; and then, there are times when they feel downright spoiled. The scrumptious spread presented by Chef Murad at Aroma in Rehoboth Beach, was definitely one of the latter.
All Things Fresh and Fire-Roasted
True to its name, Aroma is sure to lure you in with the smells of fire-roasted food, and get you to stay for its Middle Eastern flavors. Chef Murad has been studying the cuisine since he was 12 years old, and it’s hard not to notice the passion he has for his craft.
“I started work with my dad’s friend,” Chef Murad told the Foodie team. “He taught me a lot about Arabic food and Turkish food. I love that.”
Chef Murad starts by whipping up a Piyaz salad. “It’s a very good salad from the Middle East. Exactly, it’s from Turkey. It’s coming with beans, onion, and sumac, tomato, salt, lemon, and olive oil,” he explained. “We make it juicy. This tahini with fresh lemon is perfect.”
But when you come to Aroma, it’s the kebabs that are sure to dazzle you. The Adana kebab hails from Turkey, and is made with lamb. Chef Murad also prepares a chicken kebab, and beef kebab; each served on a pita, and complimented by fire-roasted tomatoes and long peppers.
And, Chef Murad insists, we can’t sit down for this feast until he bakes fresh pita. It’s not long before the circles of dough puff up into pillowy goodness.
“The pita bread, usually you have to make with your hands,” said Chef Murad. “This is flour, sugar, oil, and salt, with yeast, of course.”
“To die for.”
It all comes together for a spread sure to make anyone a repeat customer.
“Just light and refreshing, and it’s got such a nice little tanginess as well, because you’ve got the fresh lemon juice in there. All of the fresh herbs that are on top of just really pop so well, and it’s kind of the first thing you notice when you bite into it,” said Foodie Friday host Hannah Cechini of the Piyaz salad. “And then, the beans come in, and the texture and taste of the beans really bring all of those other bright, fun flavors together.”
And of the kebabs, “To die for. It is so good,” Hannah gushed. “It’s just this really nice, smoky flavor. But, it’s not overpowering, because you have the freshness of all the other ingredients going on.”
Holding the pita, was like holding a cloud, said Hannah. “It’s light, it’s airy, it’s the perfect vehicle for, really anything you want to put onto it. I think you could put peanut butter and jelly on it and it would be delicious,” they said.
Dipper’s Delight, Dessert Delicacy
And when it comes to the dips, we’ll let Foodie Photog Mike do the explaining. “Those of you that have been following at home, know that I love to dip,” he said as he prepared his pita.
First, the hummus. “Just a little hint of garlic flavor in there. And the smoothness of that hummus is second to none,” said Mike.
Then the muhammara, a combination starring peppers and walnuts. “I think that’s another wonderful, light starter. You could have that as a light lunch, honestly, if you had the pita,” Mike said through his chews. “I think it really just lets the roasted peppers show up, and sing their song.”
And finally, babagannush. “Mmm!” Mike exclaimed. “It’s subtle. It’s a little bit lemony. Again, just a lovely, light dip.”
But, save room for dessert. Even if you don’t, you won’t be able to resist a bite of Chef Murad’s homemade baklava.
“The layers on this baklava are so delicate, and flaky,” Hannah said. “Then, once you get through those initial layers and get to the filling, it’s so moist, buttery, and delicious. If you’re going to come here just for this, you’re going to walk away extremely happy and satisfied.”
Aroma is located at 208 2nd Street, Rehoboth Beach, Del. You can call them at 302-212-2488. If you go to check it out, tell the team that you saw them on Foodie Friday.