The flavors from the land of the emperors and the desert landscapes, of the estates of the ancient treasures and the modern day adventures have never failed and never will, to please and mollycoddle our taste buds. The tangy salads, fried chickpeas, appetizing soups and the garlic spreads, the cuisines of the Middle East have since forever brought felicity in a dining experience.

And when Zerzura, the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean paradise stands right at the heart of the capital, it takes tolerance to not break into it. The high-end restaurant in Qutab Hotel would transport you instantly to the sands of the Sahara right as you enter through its Jordanian Petra entrance. As you step inside your eyes get acquainted with the wooden chairs, royal leather upholstery, exotic interiors and luxury lounging. The walls would speak to you of the mystical city of Zerzura and its calm deserts and the white dunes!

More so, the lounge is currently holding a month-long Jordan Food Festival and Photo Exhibition in association with the Jordan Tourism Board. The Festival, launched on 2nd June, would go on till the first week of July, and has a month-long display of photo works by travel bloggers and photographers who have captured the beauty of Jordan in their art. There is an exclusive menu designed that includes only Jordanian dishes.

We of course couldn’t resist a feast, and here is the scrumptious account!

Sambousek with Tahini

You don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy this cheese sambousek, the mini Middle Eastern pockets, just second on the menu. Take a nibble of one of its tahini dipped pieces, and the heavenly savors of cheese, pine nuts, mint and pepper would ecstatically melt on the tongue and on the palate. The sesame oil in the tahini promises a long lasting flavor!

Araies Lahma

It’s crushed lamb in a Bedouin pizza. Completely worth the price, the pizza makes the taste buds dance! The pure lamb flavor it brings gets perfectly clubbed with the tangy salad it comes with.

Msnsaf

The most distinctive Jordanian dish, this one has been labeled as the national dish of Jordan. Delectable to another level, it’s lamb cooked in yoghurt served on a bed of rice. The accompanying gravy is also a mix of yoghurt and the ingredients of the main dish. Mansaf is surely a not-to-be-missed dish!

Kibbeh Blabaniyyeh

A delicate mixture of minced meat and bulgur wheat, these Kibbeh torpedoes need no extra garnishing. Served with a hummus dip, these are a perfect snack delight!

Maqluba

The Arabic word for ‘upside down’, Maqluba is quite literally served upside down. Rice, meat and summer vegetables cooked together, it’s a delicious amalgamation of all these things. We are sure all the rice lovers would fall head over heels in love with this.

Zerzura Veg Mezze Platter

Since there was quite some meat on the table already, we went vegetarian with the platter. We were served a trio of hummus with olive oil, baba ganoush and tabouleh, and when you have these three together, we don’t think you would need anything else. The falafels and the cheese sambousik were amazing and the zucchini tarts were perfectly sweet. The wood fired pita basket would have you coming back for second helpings.

Kanafeh

Long thin strands of shredded phyllo dough, layered with Mascorpone cheese, soaked in sugar syrup and topped with pistachios, this mouth watery Jordanian dessert is simply irresistible. We thought at first to skip this since we were so full, but thanked the Almighty later that we didn’t.

To make the food even more rewarded, as if it wasn’t heavenly already, each of your Zerzura invoices would fetch you a 10% discount on a holiday package to Jordan with SOTC. There are weekly lucky draws as well during the Festival where winners would get a return ticket to Jordan from Air Arabia.

By the way, if you land in on a Wednesday or a Sunday evening, you would also get to enjoy scintillating belly dance performances at the premises!
 
Location | Clarion Collection - Qutab Hotel, Shaheed Jeet Singh Marg, Near Katwariya Sarai, Qutab Institutional Area
Meal for Two | Rs. 3400 with alcohol (approx)

This article is written by Khushboo Panjwani. Khushboo is a part time blogger and a full time feminist. If she is not busy explaining the world what feminism means, she is found reading (no love stories please), gardening (she is deeply devoted to her plants) or meditating (not a day without it). The term soliloquy was coined for her alone, and if you ask about the most beautiful experience - it would be a morning sunrise!