Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Fakhr El Din, Amman, Jordan

Once again posting because I cannot sleep - this time it is because my grandma looked at the clock wrong and woke us up at 5am instead of 6am. We are going on a tour of 龜山 today, and needed to meet the tour group at 7am. The following are pictures I took in Jordan last year, at Fakhr el Din, one of the nicest restaurants in Amman. It sits in a residential area up on one of the hills, and is a short walk to east Amman.

To start off, the centerpiece is edible - carrots, tomatoes, celery...supposed to dip it in the olive oil, but I think it's better if you don't.
You can also dip the vegetables in this garlic whipped cream looking sauce. It is light and fluffy, and the proper way to eat the garlic whip is to spread a little on a fresh tomato and sprinkle a little bit of sumac powder on it all. It is a flavor I have not tasted before. The sumac is tangy and the garlic is spicy, which surprisingly brings out the sweetness in the tomato.
The menu is much loved, and includes familiar western dishes for those who aren't daring enough for Middle Eastern food.
The bread is like pita but thinner, with a puffier pocket. The way to eat the different dishes is to break off a little piece of bread and use it to dip in the sauce-y dishes.
The plate of brown is tangy beans, sort of the consistency of baked beans, but without the sweetness and goopiness of baked beans.
Shanklish (shang-kleesh)! Shanklish is dry hard cheese that is orange, mixed with olive oil and spices. There's also some basil and tomato as garnish.
It is necessary to break up and mix the shanklish before eating it, as demonstrated below.
Eating tabbouleh makes me feel like I'm eating chopped up grass. The flavor is great, but I can't get over the texture.
This is a cup of minty lemonade. It is very reminiscent of the lime-ade that I used to have at VVG in Taipei.
Fried batata - spicy and crispy fried potatoes. Not so Middle Eastern, but very tasty.
Garlicky mushrooms. Once again, not so much Middle Eastern, but very tasty.
Kebab Halawbi. The kebab part is actually strips of meat with bumps. The yellow thing to the right is very thin bread. I think you're supposed to eat a bit of meat covered with a bit of the bread with a little slice of onion and tomato.
After dinner they pass small cups out and a guy comes by with a kettle of dark digestive "turkish" coffee. I have turkish in quotes because the coffee is not exclusively turkish, but refers to the style of finely ground coffee and how it's made.
Every meal ends with slices of fruit, EXACTLY like in Taiwan!!! I bought a small watermelon at the farmer's market in Chapel Hill for $5 the week before I left for Jordan, thinking it would be juicy and sweet and what have you. It was not. It barely had any flavor, and was mostly just watery and tough. And then I had the watermelon from Jordan. OH MY GOSH FARMER'S MARKET I HATE YOU! The watermelon in Jordan was amazingly sweet, juicy, and flavorful! The cantaloupe was also quite sweet.
I do enjoy the habit of eating a bit of fruit after a large dinner, especially since Middle Eastern desserts tend to be on the sweeter extreme.

No comments: