Syrian Food in Jordan - Experience Jordan
Experience Culture: Traditional Tastes from Syria- Damascus Rose

Damascus Rose has unfortunately since closed.

Trying the food is one of the best experiences when visiting any new place or county. In Jordan, you can find food from all over the Arab world making it a dream come true for foodie travelers. One such place is Damascus Rose, a traditional Syrian restaurant. Delicious doesn’t even begin to describe the experience.

This special restaurant is a hidden gem. Located directly on 2nd circle, you may not see it if you are not looking because it has a wall that protects their garden area from the street noise. When you step in, you feel like you have entered a family’s garden.

The décor is gorgeous, light, and spacious inside. With beautiful jeweled lights and comfortable, colorful seating it has a lovely atmosphere in which to enjoy your meal.

Syrian food in Jordan - Experience Jordan mishowee

The menu is given in Arabic and English and contains a large selection of mezze, appetizers (hot and cold), mains, sweets, and drinks. So this gem is a top choice for a full dining experience, as opposed to a quick bite.

Due to the extensive selection, this restaurant meets the needs of meat-eaters and vegetarians alike with substantial dishes in both categories.

As with most Middle Eastern restaurants, complimentary flatbread comes with your order. However the bread here is exceptional: freshly baked, still warm, light, and dusted with sesame seeds. Delicious.

The best thing to do is to go with family and/or friends and order a varied selection of dishes for all to share. The group can then order a few dips, some salads, several mains, and at least one thing you’ve never heard of. What is life without a bit of a gamble!

Syrian food in Jordan - Experience Jordan Salad

We highly recommend:

  • Mohammera bel jouz- a dip made from walnut pasts and red peppers
  • Shanklish- melt in the mouth cheese flavored with a variety of spices
  • Eggplant fattoush- this spin-off of the infamous fattoush includes delicious wedges of eggplant, a wonderful addition
  • Batata bel kozbara o toum- fried potato with coriander, deliciously spiced; another Levantine classic
  • Muskhan- a traditional dish consisting of chicken roasted with onions, sumac, saffron, and all-spice. Served over flatbread and topped with pine nuts. The meat falls apart in your mouth- divine

The dining experience is exemplary. The service is traditionally Middle Eastern- so hospitable, while the food is delicious and a true flavor of this region of the world.

We highly recommend this restaurant to everyone including, expats in Jordan and tourists alike. It makes for a wonderful experience.

For other Culinary Experiences check out:

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Experience the Taste of Tradition: Shams El Balad

This food spot is a true gem of Amman; it’s a place where, despite the never-ending change and turn of the world, things are brought back to basics, returning to the traditions of the Jordanian kitchen.

 

The whole concept of Shams is bringing back Jordanian culture, the heart of which is in the kitchen. The cuisine of Jordan so central to culture because it’s where people come together, where they forget the world, forget the disagreements, and join with one another around the same plate.

 

When I asked one of Shams’ chefs: what is the most important thing in your cooking, I was rewarded with the answer: “Celebrating the kitchen”, and the truth of that mantra is profoundly visible. Manager, chefs, serving staff, and guests alike; all celebrate the joy of the Jordanian kitchen and the wonders it produces.

 

Salads: Pomelo and pomegranate, Beet, Cheery tomato; Chai; Manakish with cheese, olives and eggplant; Makdous

Salads: Pomelo and pomegranate, Beet, Cheery tomato; Chai; Manakish with cheese, olives and eggplant; Makdous

 

But, how could you not? The flavours created are all exceptional due to the quality of the produce used in the cooking: this is one of the few places where everything is one hundred percent organic; fresh from the farms!

 

The Shams group focus on sustainable industry, partnering with HIMA an NGO that promotes creating a more sustainable Jordan, so they ensure every step of the process, from farming to making to serving, is serving the community.

 

The bread they serve is whole-wheat and freshly baked in Madaba early each morning then delivered that day before Shams opens its doors; this partnership with the bakers and their families is well-established. Shams support the local people of Madaba through the loyal use of their services, and it has stood the test of time making it valuable.

 

This is so fundamental to the concept of bringing back old Jordanian tradition, because the importance is put on being a family and a community who collectively support one another.

 

As well as being a rarity in using wholly organic produce, Shams El Balad is also original because it is completely vegetarian, with many vegan options on the menu too. No trace of meat can be found, not even in the stock (which is a common pitfall of so called ‘vegetarian’ restaurants). All is veggie friendly!

 

The restaurant has a downstairs and upstairs seating area, plus a large terrace with views out to the citadel and colourful seating shaded by trees, which are filled with chirping birds; it’s rather idyllic!

 

The terrace view: over Amman, out to the Citadel

The terrace view: over Amman, out to the Citadel

 

There is an extremely old house on the terrace, which has been refurbished and is now available as a venue for events, such as weddings. This has it’s own private terrace and makes a wonderful setting for an event. A great venue with the best catering!

 

The private terrace, strung with lights

The private terrace, strung with lights

 

The food is divine, so colourful and flavoursome- and it’s all due to the freshness of the ingredients! You know for certain there are no hidden nasties, and can feel the goodness that the food- full of vitamins, minerals and healthy proteins- is doing to your body.

 

A whole selection of vegetable and fruit salads, mezze dips, plus some phenomenal manageesh and more is on offer, including a divine pan-fried cauliflower fritter- Mshat- served with hummus and sprinkled with sumac.

 

Mshat: cauliflower fritter

Mshat: cauliflower fritter

 

The dishes of Jordan, which have become so well known and loved in family homes and restaurants alike, all came about from the old way of cooking what you’ve got in your kitchen, and making the most of it. Shams captures this by using only seasonal produce, meaning there are some creative twists on their traditional dishes, for example: cheese manakish topped with aubergine!

In this way, you do not waste, you do not import, but you do get the best flavour-wise: seasonal is where the goodness is!

 

Every detail, from the many mezze options and sharing plates, to the round tables, to the smiling and hospitable staff all points back to tradition: sharing, friendship, and a collective celebration of the kitchen.

 

This place is both phenomenal and inspiring in its flavours, in the way it looks at the world, and in the way it captures this wonderful county.

 

Go traditional. Go organic. Go to Shams.

 

Check out their Facebook and Instagram pages by following the links.

 

beit sitti
Experience Culture: Cooking in Jordan at Beit Sitti

Image Source found on Flickr

If you love taking cooking classes when you travel, then Beit Sitti is for you. When you are on holiday to Jordan, there are several places where you can take a cooking class, but Beit Sitti is unique.

 

The location of Beit Sitti is in Al Webdah, a unique neighborhood in Amman, Jordan. It is a place where East meets West, art is everywhere you look, Call to Prayer and Church Bells are heard at the same time. Many non-government organizations are located here which gives the area an almost European feel, while still being one of the oldest neighborhoods in Amman.

 

When we plan tour packages for people visiting Jordan, we encourage a visit to this neighborhood and in particular to Beit Sitti because we want our honored guests to see and understand the multiple facets of Jordan culture. Going to Wadi Rum and Petra is essential, but if that is all you do you only see one part of Jordanian culture. Spending time in the city will expose you to a greater depth of culture as the traditional roots spring up into something new in the city. You can read our blog about the “Top Five Things to Experience While in Jordan.” Now, back to why Beit Sitti is a must experience on your trip to Jordan.

 

Beit Sitti is in an older residential home. Established in 2010 by sisters in order to preserve their grandmothers legacy, these women teach traditional Arabic cooking and then together you eat the food that you have prepared. Of course, you will receive the recipes of the food that you made along with suggestions on how to modify it in your home country in case ingredients are difficult to find.

 

What this place has is ambiance. The beautifully well preserved traditional home sits high on the side of Jabal (mountain) Webdah giving a beautiful view of Amman. If you are visiting Jordan during the warmer months, enjoy eating on the terrace under lights in the evening if you choose to cook a dinner. At Beit Sitti, you can choose breakfast, lunch, or dinner each is a four course meal.

 

If you would like to read personal reviews and experiences on Beit Sitti here are a few of our favorite blogs on this topic or you can read more on TripAdvisor.

 

The Road Less Forked: A Cultural Experience: Cooking my own lunch at Beit Sitti – Amman, Jordan

 

Traverse: Cooking at Beit Sitti

 

twirl the globe: Cooking Up a Storm in Beit Sitti Jordan

 

As always, if you would like to book a trip to Jordan you can contact us here to create a custom trip just for you. If this interests you, you may want to check out our other Experiential Tours or our other blog articles on Experiences in Jordan.