Saturday, 27 February 2010

A few lunches & snacks around town

The first place we headed for a snack when we arrived to Amman was of course to the 2nd circle and Reem. Jordanians & Non Jordanians agree: the best shawarmas in town, in Jordan, in the World :) Come on even the New York Times has had an article about Reem this winter! And yes they are indeed very tasty, the best? I don't know, but it is always packed with people buying these tiny sharwamas. Cars are parked in the circle, in front of the shop, and double parked, it's really something to see. Everybody comes there poor, rich, locals, tourists! Really a place that's worth the visit! Bobs went to buy them, it was late and Bibs was in the car so I can't really comment on the "buying" experience - for sure they don't speak english - but Bobs succeeded in coming back with them! I guess everybody can! Oh yes and of course this is clearly to put in the inexpensive section - though you can get bigger sharwama's in other places for the same price! - under 1JD.

Bibs has met some of her friends at 2 restaurants lately, both located in Abdoun. The first is Casper & Gambinis; - a trendy upscale restaurant, which very proudly shows off their "hygiene" certificates. It has a lovely terrasse, the service was ok - not the fastest but not bad either - and the food was good but quite expensive. I had a fruit smoothy, a bottle of water and a salad for a total of 16JD - that's what I call London prices :) but they were ok with 6 babies and their mums so they deserve a medal for that! The second place we went is the Blue Fig - they serve some really nice small kind of pizzas (5JD), I had one with pesto and grilled vegetables, it was Yummy. There is a little couch area where we sat, a lovely terrace and seating on 2 floors. They gave us a baguette each when we left, I don't know if they also sell it, but i did see some breads displayed, so maybe!

The last one we visited was Ren Chai a fine dining chinese restaurant. It is located at fourth circle, behind the French Embassy. It seems very popular, with many large tables filling up as we left: Jordanians eat lunch very late (compared to northern Europe) at around 2.30pm onwards. Well I can safely say that it is the last time we come there! The food was uninteresting and really not worth the money (total bill of 46JD for 2 for lunch with a bottle of water), the service was OK, apart from one waiter who was plainly rude.

I need to add a couple of things: in front of every restaurant the parking spaces are allocated to valet parking so let's say that the guy at Casper's was not immensely impressed when he found me parked right in front of the restaurant as he came back from his break! Tough luck for him, haha, but to be honest I am so not used to it, that it didn't even cross my mind when I parked! He didn't say anything, but I did see him leaned against my car the whole time (2hours) we were there. The other thing is that all prices in restaurants are excluding VAT & service charge so you always have to add 26% to the prices on the menu: important if you order a good bottle of wine, not so much if you buy a sharwama of course (I think those come all included!!).

At the bottom of the page is a link to map where I put the location of all the restaurants.


Elisa, Croatia said...

Sounds like you have a variety of nice restaurants. Here tax is 23% put it's already included in the price so no math but it makes everything seem so expensive!

what are sharwamas?

Babs said...

it's a kind of pita bread with marinated meat inside with onions, tomatoes and here with some special yummi sauce (think it's chickpea but not entirely sure). Another word for doner kebab. The meat is placed on a stick that is turning and roasting.

Anonymous said...

just found your blog today and have been enjoying reading through your older posts.

just thought i'd point out the reason casper and gambini proudly displays their hygiene certificate is because couple years ago a woman found a nice big fat live worm in her salad, took a picture of it and spread around jordan like a virus! it was pretty hard to miss, how the chef didn't see it, i don't know.

at the time of the scandal, owners didn't seem apologetic but after business was affected, they took action and now proudly display the certificate. haven't eaten there since the drama.

Babs said...

haha there is always a reason no? well can't say I am surprised :) It's incredible that restaurants think they can just get away with such things without doing anything! I still like the place, maybe I should avoid the salads!
Glad you like my blog! Thanks

Asad1985 said...

I've noticed that you haven't been to any Lebanese cuisines for Mashawi (Grilled Kebab, grilled chicken, and Mezza). I would recommend couple of places if you're interested. Fakhr El-din(close to the first circle, in front of Salute), Burj Al-Hamam( Intercontinental hotel) Mawwal (Between 7th and 6th circle), Mashawi Amman Al-Kobra( Between 8th and 7th circle, behind RJ offices). The first 2 you definitely need reservation before going, specially in weekends. :)

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