Thursday, December 14, 2017

Touring Middle East 18: The Finale Feast

Before the trip I have been told by those who joined the same tour previously that the first and last meals were usually the highlights as far as food is concerned. So that gave me something to look forward to as we were drawing our 2-week-long journey in Jordan and Israel to a close at our last stop of Amman, the Jordanian capital.

Earlier in that afternoon we had a lovely lunch at Artemis Restaurant in Jerash up the hill, with food served buffet-style at the outdoor terrace with freshly baked flatbread from the stone oven by the entrance. So that also set the very high expectation leading to our "last supper", as our tour guide described.

We arrived at this restaurant called Tawaheen Al Hawa in Amman in the early evening after a short bus ride from Jerash. The restaurant is located at one of the busiest street junctions, so we got to see a bit of the metropolitan part of the city. We walked past the grand entrance (which reminded me of the medieval castle) and into the dining area on the second floor. I suppose the décor resembles those typical Arab style, with large square tables and trays in the middle where dishes were served family-style. There's a good mix of foreign and local customers, which is always a good sign. 

The menu was pre-arranged so the dishes arrived soon after we sat down. We started with the typical mezze dishes spread across the tables - by now we were somewhat familiar with those typical Jordanian appetizer dishes like hummus and baba ghanoush and I actually started to appreciate them more. There's also other dishes like sausages and olives with chilies which I loved. I was hoping there will be mansaf for main course but I guess that's probably too exotic for some so we settled with a sumptuous kebab platter with several kinds of meat, grilled vegetables and fries. They were pretty good - or is it because we were too hungry to be picky by then?

Bread was another part of the meal that I enjoyed very much. The pita and flat bread were baked fresh and served warm to our tray, working perfectly well with the many dips served as our mezze course. There's also this baked dumpling that reminded me of samosa. No alcohol was served at the restaurant but the glass of lemon-mint juice was just all good. It's something we have tried a few times while in Jordan and I like the refreshing flavor.

We finished our dinner quite early and with our flight still a few hours away, of course we Hongkongers won't miss a beat in squeezing another shopping spree before heading to the airport. Our stops? Sweets/Patisserie and Spices shops (standing next to each other near to our restaurant) where we picked up more than a handful of traditional Jordanian sweets, pastries and spices. (among them my favorite was the Syrian Barazek cookies with sesame and nuts! Wish I could find more of those at home)

With this finale feast and the last minute shopping session, we signed off from the Middle East on a high note.

When? October 13 2017
Where? Tawaheen Al Hawa, Wasfi al-Tal Rd, Jubilee Gardens, Amman, Jordan

(Touring Middle East - Part 18)

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