It’s food which brings people together and binds cultures. Here are five places where food becomes a pleasure in the little Kingdom of Jordan.
Words and photographs: Ambica Gulati
With trellis on the walls and mosaic on the floor, this restaurant is constantly full. It offers some traditional Arabic food with lots of Mediterranean greens and kebabs. Located in the upbeat Rainbow Street, most people enjoy their meal with a shisha.
Sufra restaurant, Rainbow Street, Jabal Amman, Amman, Jordan. Tel: (962-6) 461-1468
Petra Kitchen, Wadi Musa
Here you can learn to cook your own meal and then eat it. Clean and hygienic, it is the place to sit and relax with friends and watch the world go by. You can even buy some handicrafts and souvenirs.
The Petra Kitchen P O Box 40-Petra, Jordan 71810 Tel/Fax (962) 3-215-5900 email@example.com
Alqantarah restaurant, Petra
The arch, which is what the name means here, has lovely interiors. Warm with cane furniture and traditional items grace the walls. They use the traditional clay oven, Taboun to bake the bread and grill the meats live. Mansaf, the national dish with rice and meat, is its high point and you are even taught how to eat it.
Just off the main road to Petra, Petra – Wadi Musa, Jordan 32155535
Royal Yacht Club, Aqaba
As the sun goes down, the yachts anchored, this is a place for the classy and romantic. You can enjoy fish here. This is a place for yachting events and social get together in Aqaba.
The Royal Yacht Club of Jordan, P.O.Box. 500, Aqaba Jordan, Tel.:+962 3 2012900;
Fax.: +962 3 2012914, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Haret Jdoudna, Madaba
With a crafts shop, this restaurant has a very cosy, homely ambience. It is located close to the St George’s Church. And one enjoys eating under the huge trees in the courtyard.
Haret Jdoudna, P.O Box: 373 Madaba, T: (962-5) 324 86 50 /1, F: (962-5) 324 86 09
What is interesting about Jordanian cuisine
- It has influences of Turkish and Ottoman Empire, Syria, Palestine and Iraq.
- Methods of cooking include baking, sautéing and grilling to stuffing of vegetables, meat, and poultry.
- Roasting or preparing foods with special sauces.
- Olive oil is the main cooking oil and herbs, garlic, onion, tomato sauce and lemon are typical flavours.
- A blend of spices called Za’atar contains a local herb Sumac which grows wild in Jordan.
- Jameed, a form of dried yogurt is unique to this cuisine and a main ingredient in Mansaf.
- Another famous meat dish especially in the Bedouin desert area of Petra and Wadi Rum is ‘Zarb’, prepared in a Taboun.
- Popular foods include hummus and falafel.
- Mezze includes koubba maqliya, labaneh, baba ghanoush, tabbouleh, olives and pickles.
- Popular desserts include baklava, knafeh, halva and qatayef and seasonal fruits such as watermelons, figs and cactus pear.
- Turkish coffee and tea flavored with mint or sage are common. Arabic coffee is served on formal occasions.
- Arak, an aniseed flavoured spirit, is another popular drink.