Indian and Middle Eastern style restaurant to run taste test

Taste testing in two weeks will have chunk of menu items, test to see community members’ reactions



This is just one of many menu options from the new Indian and Middle Eastern style restaurant coming soon

JOSIE GOODRICH, Reporter/Copy Editor

After noticing a lack of Indian-styled and Middle Eastern food in Pullman, Audrey Menezes decided to take matters into her own hands. 

Menezes moved to Pullman after growing up in Florida, hosting and managing a catering company that her parents owned and ran, she said.

“I figured that after they retired with their company I wanted to take over and just form my own when it came to the food industry, so I came up with Maleeka,” Menezes said. “It’s a blend of Indian and Middle Eastern style cooking, which the recipes have been passed down from my side of the family as well as my fiance’s side of the family.”

To jumpstart her new eatery, Maleeka Cuisine, Menezes is hosting a taste testing event on September 22 – 25 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. This event will allow Menezes to receive feedback from locals and students, giving her an idea on when she would like to open the business, she said.

“I just put a select few items on the menu right now for people to try and see if they enjoy the culture, variety of flavor and cuisine,” Menezes said. “Some of the menu items that I did put up on the menu was shawarma on the Middle East side with a variety of spices like cardamom and cinnamon and then I also added something from the Indian side which is tandoori.”

Business partner Amjad Al-Shakarji said that the chicken shawarma sandwich is not only his go-to order but part of his motivation for this new business. An ideal chicken shawarma sandwich comes down to how the chicken is spiced and cut.

“I would go to a lot of restaurants and as I travel for work and everything we just couldn’t find anything that tasted as good as how we would make it,” Al-Shakarji said. “So I think people would really like this sandwich and it was always my favorite every single time I traveled or went to visit family in the Middle East.”

Al-Shakarjis goal for Maleeka is to share his family’s food and the food that he enjoys the most with his surrounding community, he said. Maleeka will also be offering gluten-free and vegetarian options as well as making meals to fit allergies.

All menu items for the taste testing event are order based and will be available for pickup at the Lehman Court or delivery by Delivery Pullman.

Orders can be made on the Nextdoor app, Facebook messenger, by emailing [email protected] or by calling or texting 352-875-0537.