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Food critic’s guide to dining in Amman: 22 restaurants you should know!

Have you ever wondered where to get the best sushi in Amman or which restaurant serves the juiciest brisket in town? The best and worst dining experiences of Yasmine aka FoodieJo in our interview below featuring:

Chocolate jameed, Tacos Y mas Alla, FishFaceJo, Beni Hana,Frankfurter, Mille Rose, Joury, Thai Room, Abu Khalil, Gusto, Margaux, Bonita, Ocean, Sara, The Hook, jamiya sharkasiya, Samawer, honey cake, Nena Bistro, Copacabana: Brazilian steakhouse, Brisket, Skyline, Hamzeh Qasem, Dina Shawar, TasteAmman, Spotist

Note: The photos below were not taken by The Cuisine Collective. All photos have been credited to their actual authors.

Aleks: What trends can you observe in the Amman food scene?

Yasmin: Fusion is becoming a trend now. For instance: chocolate jameed. If Omar Sartawi, the inventor, came up with this three, four years ago, he probably would have been shot by now by the traditionalists. But nowadays everyone is into mixing all sorts of food. There is this restaurant called Tacos: that is mixing middle eastern food with tacos. And then you see chocolate with jameed, burrito with sushi. I think that fusion is the biggest trend after going vegan and being healthy.

What was your best dining experience?

I think that my recent excellent one was in Beni Hana, the Japanese restaurant. I went there on Thursday for the life cooking show. Very fancy. Out of this world. The chef was super fun. The whole experience took one hour because we ordered so many things: chicken, beef, fish. The food was excellent.

What was your worst dining experience?

Should I mention names? (laugh) Definitely Frankfurter. It sells burgers and hot-dogs. Once, my cousin and I were super hungry. We ordered a hot dog, and the bottom was very burnt but they still served it. And since we were super hungry, we ate it. The next day I got sick and ended up in a hospital. After I wrote a bad review, the restaurant owner pmed me and asked to delete the post asking for one more chance. But then I said, maybe I give you one when I get out of the hospital. And then he became super rude. So I kept the post. I mentioned also that it was my personal experience. It was a one time thing so you may have a different experience. Maybe it was just a bad luck.

What is the best-hidden place that you can recommend?

It’s one of my favourite Italian restaurants. It’s called Mille Rose in Webdeh. I had their pasta, veal and tiramisu. It was outstanding.

Can you recommend “a must go” places for different categories of food?

Middle Eastern: Joury: not many people know about this place but it’s excellent. It’s run but Syrians and the food is great. Joury serves also international dishes. They are tasty but nothing in comparison to their middle eastern dishes!

Asian (Indian, Korean, Thai, Japanese, Chinese): I don’t like Indian food. Never had Korean. Thai: Thai Room is amazing. The staff is very friendly and food was delicious. Chinese: Abu Khalil

Doesn’t sound Chinese

But it’s a great Chinese place. I heard a rumour that the chef who works there used to cook for the king. He’s super talented.

European: Italian: Gusto and Mille Rosse. French: Margaux; Spanish: Bonita. I love their paella.

Seafood would probably be Ocean. Honestly, you don’t have excellent seafood here. So I would recommend the Ocean. Also, Sara in downtown is really good. Some people recommend The Hook but I’ve never been. It’s supposed to be very good though.

What about Circassian food?

I haven’t heard of any restaurant serving this sort of food but I know of a catering service. It’s called jamiya sharkasiya (Samawer restaurant has their food in their offer). You can order honey cake, orieshki, and kind of donuts for home-delivery.

South American: there is a very good Brazilian place: Nena Bistro. Both the Owner and chef are Brazilians. There is also Copacabana: Brazilian steakhouse. It’s quite fancy.

American: like burgers and steaks? Brisket! It’s this small place that opens at 7 p.m. and they close when they run out of brisket. Always super crowded. If you wanna go there, go at exactly 7. Excellent food.

If you were going on a date, you would like to dine at:

I would pick somewhere romantic that doesn’t serve messy food cause I’m really shy when I meet someone for the first time. So I’d probably go for sushi. I’d probably pick Skyline at Landmark. They have happy hours: 50% off sushi until 8 p.m. The staff teaches you how to do origami while you are waiting for food. Once done, you throw it into this big glass dish located on a table next to the entrance. When the restaurant collects a thousand of those, they make someone’s wish come true. Once, they paid a university tuition fee for a girl who used to live in a Palestinian refugee camp. Great initiative.

 

What’s your favourite social enterprise initiative?

Probably the app called bil al-furun. It’s an app that allows you to order home-made food from Jordanian women. The concept is that for instance: I am making maqloube today, so I make more and I can sell it through the app. It’s super cool, you know. It’s empowering local women, encouraging them to work from home.

What bloggers do you follow?

My favourite is Hamzeh Qasem. He only writes Arabic content. He started 4 years ago and is the oldest blogger in Jordan. I also follow Dina Shawar, Rawa from TasteAmman and Samer from the Spotist.

 

 

Thanks a lot for a great interview!


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