Mama Aida’s Catering.

Mama Aida’s is good home cooked Middle Eastern food, but also rather expensive, and only really makes sense for groups of more than six (catering).

The original Mama Aida arrived in Ceylon from Lebanon in 1942. Three generations later, her descendants are preparing traditional Middle-Eastern foods and catering from a home near the Colombo Golf Club. They deal mostly in large orders, so for events parties, etc. It’s suitable (and of better value) for groups of more than six.

The Food

We’ll jump to the chase. We tried, essentially, shawarma. Mama Aida’s offers a range of food from Middle Eastern rices to fish to desserts, but we stuck with the basic beef shawarma, a basic pita wrap with meat and sides.

The roll-your-own beef (half portion, Rs. 800), hummus (Rs. 750) and tabbuleh (Rs. 750) was good. The beef was well seasoned, if not much of it, the hummus was excellent, and the tabbuleh fresh (if a bit parsley heavy). It all makes for a fine meal, but still expensive. Adding the pita for Rs. 195, you’re spending around Rs. 2,500 for about four shawarma wraps. We should note that the hummus is huge, enough to last for days. If you order for more people (as people do, since this is a catering company) the value increases.

For sides we had the stuffed potatoes (Rs. 1,100), which were quite good. I still don’t understand how they get the minced beef inside, perhaps should’ve eaten less fast and inspected for holes. The stuffed vine leaves (Rs. 400) were also good but they do taste like leaves, you have to like that sorta thing.

Overall the quality is very good if not mind-blowing. It tastes like home-made Middle Eastern food. The prices are high for take out but, as mentioned, this levels out as you order in higher quantities. We ended up paying just under Rs. 4,000 for enough food for about three people.

I should note that this was a smaller order made just for us, they normally serve items in sizes that serve about six. At that scale and above it becomes more affordable, but still not cheap.

The Service

It’s a family business and they’re all very nice. You basically call and pick up the food from their house near the Golf Club. The service is literally walking into someone’s house and picking up some food and the phone service is also polite.

Again, it is catering so the service is really a relationship.

Location

That’s the thing. There is no dine in location. It’s all catering.

Conclusion

Mama Aida’s is good home cooked Middle Eastern food, but not cheap. It only really makes sense for groups of more than six. For those numbers it is a nice Arabic experience.

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