sultan co-owner jenar mohammed photo by carmen trosser

2019 Best New Restaurants // No. 11 Sultan Mediterranean Restaurant

Jenar Mohammed and Akram Saeed’s first restaurant, Sultan Mediterranean Restaurant in The Grove, flawlessly executes classics like hummus, falafel and kebabs, as well as less common offerings like gently steamed mantu (dumplings) and qali (beef stew), earning Sultan a spot on this list. Here are the four dishes you must try on your first visit.

Lentil Soup
This soothing cup of soup is the perfect appetizer. A few sips prepares your palate and gives you a hint of flavors to come. Bonus: If you dine at lunch, it’s free with your meal.

You’ll need this whatever you order. Nearly 12 inches across, naan arrives hot, releasing pockets of steam as you gently stretch and tear the pillowy surface. Swipe it through every bit of hummus and baba ghanoush, pick up bits of kebab or falafel or soak up every last drop of sauce.

the sultan pilau at sultan // photo by izaiah johnson

Sultan’s vegetarian dolma are a study in simple ingredients done right. Thin, tender grape leaves hold toothsome, perfectly cooked rice, each grain slicked with olive oil and bright tomato sauce. Nearly a dozen of these addictive bites arrive topped with a small eggplant, zucchini, tomato and onion, all stuffed with the same rice mixture. At just $8, this entree is a steal.

Sultan Pilau
Local food writers have penned many praises about the Sultan Pilau. Every word is deserved. Crack the crispy phyllo shell to release an avalanche of perfumed basmati rice, rich bits of lamb shank, sweet raisins, crunchy almonds and walnuts, and diced vegetables. This dish embodies everything wonderful about the restaurant: phenomenal flavor, generous portions and a surprising experience that inspires repeat visits. 

Catherine Klene is managing editor, digital at Sauce Magazine.