For me, a multi-course meal has its ups and downs: while one course is good, perhaps the rest isn't. However, Masraff's was an exception, as I enjoyed every single aspect in the three-course meal. Honestly, I thought dining here on HRW would be an one-time thing for me because of the high price, but in the end, I enjoyed Masraff's so much that I think I may have to return again before the next HRW!
Anyway, onward to the dishes!
-First course: Garlic seared calamari
As a seafood fan, I was already aiming for this dish when I was checking out the menu. This is the dish that both Yelp members and our waitress highly recommended for a reason.
The calamari dish used only the firm, meaty calamari of top-notch quality, complemented with fresh onion and mushroom and covered in a sweet, zesty sauce. Both the taste and the texture of this course were a true testament to the high quality ingredients that Masraff's uses and the skilled chefs that this restaurant employs. I had some good calamari before, but this is perhaps the best calamari dish I have ever had! Just when I was wondering how this meal could continue to go strong with such an amazing start, my entree course arrived.
-Entree course: Herb roasted lamb chop
I actually chose Masraff's for HRW because of this lamb chop, a personal favorite of mine that is unfortunately not common in many restaurants. I think lamb chop is not a common dish because it can be either the best dish ever if done right or the worst thing ever if something went wrong. Clearly from my rating, Masraff's lamb chop entree did not disappoint and has exceed my expectation!
The lamb chop was perfectly seasoned and brought out the best taste elements of lamb while concealing the lamb's inherent strange aftertaste that often ruined similar dishes at other places. The meat itself was juicy, which was surprising to me because the previous lamb chops I had at other places were dry from the less-skilled chefs' attempts to force out the strange aftertaste. This entree was certainly well done (Well, I actually got it cooked to be medium-rare) and the potato and mushroom hash was a nice touch!
-Third course: Creme de caramel
Admittedly, I am not classy enough to know what this was at first, so I assumed that this would some kind of creme brulee. In the sense, I was right! I'll have to reveal my lack of fine dining knowledge trying to explain what this dessert course is.
Creme de caramel is a custard with the texture similar to creme brulee on a plate, which also holds caramel sauce and a piece of biscuit. Because the caramel sauce is not directly on the custard, you can choose your desired amount. Despite having strong appetizer and entree preceding its appearance, creme de caramel did not pale in comparison with its sweetness that was at the perfect degree. This remarkable dessert was a fitting conclusion to this phenomenal three-course meal!
As you can see from my too-long review, I thoroughly enjoyed my dining experience at the Masraff's. I am usually not a fan of fine dining because I can't get full and still have to pay an unusually high price, but I actually walked out of the restaurant full and satisfied. Even for a cheapskate like me, I thought it was worth every cent! Sorry for not talking about the amazing service and awesome atmosphere because the food was simply too overwhelmingly good, but I would go as far to say that this is the best restaurant in Houston, Texas.
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