Ordering in with Lugmety: Jeddah's Ahel Awal & Ms Moh Bakery

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Ahel Awal offers up a variety of Middle Eastern fare. (Supplied)
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Ms Moh Bakery offers up a variety of sweet treats. (Supplied)
Updated 02 June 2019

Ordering in with Lugmety: Jeddah's Ahel Awal & Ms Moh Bakery

  • Ahel Awal is a fairly new restaurant in Jeddah
  • The dessert was from Ms. Moh Bakery

JEDDAH: Ramadan is a month of reflection and giving, a month where families gather and reconnect over a table full of wonderful traditional dishes. Families gather regularly and since it’s customary to bring a dish to the household you’re visiting, food delivery apps often save the day.

For my weekly family gathering, I scrolled through food delivery app Lugmety, which operates in Jeddah and Riyadh.

My cousins were craving samboosak, a staple on every Hijazi table.  My grandmother’s pastries were like no other, but it’s time for us young ones to make up for all the years that she hid a big batch of samboosak away from our parents.

I ordered from Ahel Awal, a restaurant that is quite new to the restaurant scene in Jeddah.  It serves dishes often found on tables in the Hijazi region, such as fuul, okra stew and mulukhiya stew, but I needed my pastry fix.

I chose the madini puff and the samboosa sajair, but unfortunately the other options were not available at the time, which was rather disappointing.

Nevertheless, the order arrived piping hot just a few minutes before iftar and had the perfect crunch we were all craving. The fluffy samboosaks, complete with crumbly pastry, were stuffed with just the right amount of tender, well-seasoned meat and served with various chutneys, including a sweet and tangy tamarind sauce.

On to dessert and I broke Ramadan dessert protocol by ordering a banoffee pie from Ms. Moh Bakery.

Although the café does offer a wide of sweets — including Arabic desserts with a twist, cakes, pies, puddings and trifles — the banoffee pie called my name.

It was fantastic, with just the right amount of fluffy cream over a light biscuit crust and perfectly aligned fresh bananas drizzled in a thick caramel sauce. 

It’s been a while since I’ve tasted a great banoffee pie and this one topped the charts and even scored fans in my traditional Arabic dessert-loving family. 

What happened to the Apollo goodwill moon rocks?

Updated 16 June 2019

What happened to the Apollo goodwill moon rocks?

  • Some of the gifts have either gone missing, were stolen or destroyed over the decades

HOUSTON, Texas: US President Richard Nixon gave moon rocks collected by Apollo 11 and Apollo 17 astronauts to 135 countries around the world and the 50 US states as a token of American goodwill.
While some hold pride of place in museums and scientific institutions, many others are unaccounted for — they have either gone missing, were stolen or even destroyed over the decades.
The list below recounts the stories of some of the missing moon rocks and others that were lost and later found.
It is compiled from research done by Joseph Gutheinz Jr, a retired NASA special agent known as the “Moon Rock Hunter,” his students, and collectSPACE, a website which specializes in space history.

• Both the Apollo 11 and Apollo 17 moon rocks presented to perpetually war-wracked Afghanistan have vanished.

• One of the moon rocks destined for Cyprus was never delivered due to the July 1974 Turkish invasion of the island and the assassination of the US ambassador the following month.
It was given to NASA years later by the son of a US diplomat but has not been handed over to Cyprus.

Joseph Gutheinz, an attorney known as the "Moon Rock Hunter," displays meteorite fragments in his office on May 22, 2019 in Friendswood, Texas. (AFP / Loren Elliot)

• Honduras’s Apollo 17 moon rock was recovered by Gutheinz and Bob Cregger, a US Postal Service agent, in a 1998 undercover sting operation baptized “Operation Lunar Eclipse.”
It had been sold to a Florida businessman, Alan Rosen, for $50,000 by a Honduran army colonel. Rosen tried to sell the rock to Gutheinz for $5 million. It was seized and eventually returned to Honduras.

• Ireland’s Apollo 11 moon rock was on display in Dublin’s Dunsink Observatory, which was destroyed in a 1977 fire. Debris from the observatory — including the moon rock — ended up in the Finglas landfill.

• The Apollo 11 and Apollo 17 moon rocks given to then Libyan leader Col. Muammar Qaddafi have vanished.

• Malta’s Apollo 17 moon rock was stolen from a museum in May 2004. It has not been found.

• Nicaragua’s Apollo 17 moon rock was allegedly sold to someone in the Middle East for $5-10 million. Its Apollo 11 moon rock ended up with a Las Vegas casino owner, who displayed it for a time in his Moon Rock Cafe. Bob Stupak’s estate turned it over to NASA when he died. It has since been returned to Nicaragua.

• Romania’s Apollo 11 moon rock is on display in a museum in Bucharest. Romania’s Apollo 17 moon rock is believed to have been sold by the estate of former dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, who was executed along with his wife, Elena, on Christmas Day 1989.

Spain’s Apollo 17 moon rock is on display in Madrid’s Naval Museum after being donated by the family of Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco, who was assassinated by the Basque separatist group ETA in 1973.
Spain’s Apollo 11 moon rock is missing and is believed to be in the hands of the family of former dictator Francisco Franco.