I love ’em grilled, roasted, stewed, slow-cooked, or slathered with mint jelly. I love it in as many ways as it can be cooked simply and tenderly, just to enhance its inherent lamb-ey flavor… just enough to remind me of unexplored lands full of exotic spices and roasted foods galore which is the Middle East.
The best lamb dish I’ve ever had was at a kibbutz in Israel. The lamb was roasted for a couple hours (in olive oil? in nothing? alas, memory fails me. I must return!) and served on a clay plate. How the meat tenderly fell off the bone, with a little sigh of steam. (WTF.) Because it was cooked in absolute simplicity, I enjoyed the natural delicious taste of roasted young lamb. (Then proceeded to reenact the seating arrangement during the Last Supper, hilarious.)
Given my self-appointed job (it cannot be helped anyway) as a food glut, I’m always on the lookout for noteworthy lamb and vegetable dishes. Cyma has been around for a while but I never really went out of my way to go there, until fellow glut Mikka Wee shared this lamb dish. (Which she can supposedly finish half of, whether she’s in need of great comfort, or just feeling dangerously glutty.)
After our first encounter, O lamb yiovetsi, you have been on my mind…
Which is why I invited my family to meet you today. And boy do mom and sister approve. (Dad made a semi-disgusted face, which is always good sign.)
Behold, the Cyma Lamb Yiovetsi.
Tenderly cooked lamb, in tomato sauce and surrounded by orzo. Orzo (googled: rice that looks like pasta) is the perfect carb to serve as the starchy accompaniment of the lamb. Orzo has a creamy texture, which comes in small appropriate doses together with bites of lamb. All this is drenched in tasty tomato sauce. Generously squeeze lemon for a tangier kick and devour immediately.
The Roka Salata
Roka Salata is a favorite of many friends. Its a sweet-ish salad, with parmesan shavings, romaine lettuce, arugula, sun dried tomatoes, candied walnuts, and some kind of vinaigrette. I will always return to my wife (the Duo salad. Await future post.) but I would have this as one of my mistresses. If anyone ever wants to recreate this at home, the awesome folks at Pepper.ph have hacked the recipe to 99% hackuraccy.
Other things we tried included a Wagyu burger (not too sure about the name, obviously not memorable because 1. It was my dad’s 2. I was too busy stuffing my face with lamb) and the Spinach and Artichoke Fondue. Not being much of a savory fondue person (with the exception of certain cheese types, and the dips at Cibo which to me, would count as fondue if this one counts as a type) it was alright. The other highlight of this meal was the good service at Cyma Shangri-la, wherein our server was attentive and somewhat humorous.
As a woman needing objects to crave, Lamb Yiovetsi, my eyes are on you. Being the most recent great lamb dish discovery, you’ll be in my mind, especially on cold and lonely rainy days. In the meantime, prepare yourself to be shown off to more family and friends.