The Art of Mezze: Small Plates with Big Flavors

Home » Blog » Culture » The Art of Mezze: Small Plates with Big Flavors

When you walk into Ottawa Kabab, the inviting aromas and warm atmosphere immediately signal a culinary adventure.

From the moment you enter, you are greeted by the tantalizing scents of grilled meats, aromatic spices, and freshly prepared dishes, setting the stage for a memorable dining experience. The ambiance, enriched by traditional Middle Eastern décor, invites you to sit back, relax, and prepare for a feast that will delight your senses.

Central to this experience is the art of mezze – small plates with big flavors that introduce you to the rich and diverse world of Middle Eastern cuisine.

Mezze is more than just an appetizer; it’s a celebration of flavors, culture, and togetherness. Each dish is crafted to offer a unique taste of the Middle East, from the creamy hummus to the smoky mutabal, ensuring every bite is a new discovery. This tradition of sharing small plates encourages a communal dining experience where conversations flow as freely as the food. Mezze embodies the essence of Middle Eastern dining – warmth, generosity, and the joy of sharing good food with loved ones.

The Cultural Roots of Mezze

Mezze, a tradition deeply rooted in Middle Eastern hospitality, is designed to bring people together around the table. In Middle Eastern culture, sharing food is a symbol of unity and community. Mezze plates are meant to be enjoyed slowly, allowing for conversation and connection. This style of dining encourages a communal experience, where everyone can sample a variety of dishes and flavors.

The Essentials of Mezze at Ottawa Kabab

At Ottawa Kabab, we take pride in offering a selection of mezze that captures the essence of Middle Eastern cuisine. Here are some of the must-try mezze dishes that are sure to delight your palate:


  • Ingredients: Roasted eggplant, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil.
  • Taste: Smoky and creamy with a hint of tanginess from the lemon juice.
  • Experience: Perfectly paired with warm pita bread, Mutabal is a delightful start to your mezze journey.


  • Ingredients: Chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil.
  • Taste: Smooth and nutty with a bright lemony finish.
  • Experience: A versatile dip that complements nearly every other dish on the table.

aba Ganoush

  • Ingredients: Charred eggplant, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil.
  • Taste: Similar to Mutabal but with a deeper, smokier flavor.
  • Experience: Adds a robust element to your mezze spread, particularly when paired with fresh vegetables.


  • Ingredients: Parsley, bulgur wheat, tomatoes, mint, lemon juice, olive oil.
  • Taste: Fresh and zesty with a delightful crunch.
  • Experience: A refreshing salad that balances the richer flavors of other mezze dishes.


  • Ingredients: Mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, toasted pita, sumac, lemon juice, olive oil.
  • Taste: Crisp and tangy with a burst of flavors from the sumac and fresh vegetables.
  • Experience: Adds a vibrant and crunchy texture to your meal.

Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves

  • Ingredients: Grape leaves, rice, herbs, lemon juice, olive oil.
  • Taste: Savory with a hint of citrus.
  • Experience: These delicate rolls are perfect for adding a light, yet satisfying element to your mezze.

Beet Mutabal

  • Ingredients: Roasted beets, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil.
  • Taste: Earthy and slightly sweet with a creamy texture.
  • Experience: A unique twist on traditional mutabal, bringing a vibrant color and flavor to your table.

The Mix Appetizers Platter

For those new to mezze or looking to sample a variety of flavors, our Mix Appetizers Platter is the perfect choice. This platter typically includes selections of our best appetizers, providing a bit of everything for everyone. It’s perfect for sharing, allowing you to enjoy a diverse array of tastes without overwhelming your palate or filling up too quickly.

Mezze and the Traditional Grill Feast

Mezze plates are essential accompaniments to a traditional grill feast. They enhance the dining experience by offering a variety of textures and flavors that complement the hearty dishes like tikka, kabab, and shish. The mezze plates act as a palate cleanser between bites of grilled meats, allowing you to fully appreciate the flavors of each dish.

A Vegan Delight

Vegans will find mezze to be a delightful option, as many of the dishes are made entirely from vegetables. Dishes like tabbouleh, fattoush, and vegetarian stuffed grape leaves are flavorful, nutritious, and completely plant-based, making mezze an inclusive dining option for everyone.

Presentation Tips

To truly capture the essence of mezze, presentation is key. Here are a few tips:

  • Use traditional copper or ceramic dishes: This adds an authentic touch and enhances the dining experience.
  • Arrange the dishes in a circular pattern: This encourages sharing and makes the table visually appealing.
  • Garnish with fresh herbs and olive oil: A sprinkle of parsley or a drizzle of olive oil can elevate the presentation.


Mezze at Ottawa Kabab is more than just food; it’s an experience that brings people together, celebrates culture, and tantalizes your taste buds. Whether you’re a newcomer to Middle Eastern cuisine or a seasoned aficionado, our mezze selection offers something for everyone. So, gather around the table, share a laugh, and enjoy the rich, diverse flavors that mezze has to offer.