Aroos Damascus for Dinner – Al Muraqabat Street

07 Aug

A new day.. A new quest to satisfy my urge to try something different.. I didn’t feel like sandwiches or any of the usual foods, and the conclusion was reached. Aroos Damascus.

Before anything, this is not any sort of fine dining. So the expectations of service and the place’s quality had to be lowered a lot. We walked in expecting good filling traditional Syrian food. Nothing else.

They have a big restaurant, literally taking almost the entire front of a very wide building. They have dedicated areas for families with seating out doors as well.

The dining area is very straight forward, ordinary tables, simple chairs. Nothing fancy, nothing special, just a place for people to sit, eat and leave, no admiring artwork or lounge comfort here..

So what food do they have?

Aside from plenty of Syrian Traditional dishes (I had one) they have a lot of food! The menu has almost all salads served in Lebanese and Syrian places, Shawermas, Roasted Chicken, all sorts of Grills, Pigeons, Sajs, and a lot more!

All tables are set up with the basics

Oils, Salt, Tissues and Toothpicks. Nothing fancy as I said before.

There was a Bread Basket but it was empty. The interesting thing about Aroos Damascus, regarding bread, is that you are not charged for bread. Once you order food, they come and fill the basket. Once its empty, they fill it again and so on..

The great thing is the bread is always fresh out of the oven! They give the table 4 or 5, and once its done it’s topped up with bread straight out of the oven. I love that! Especially since most of their salads and meals go really well with bread.

Also, once the order is placed they bring on platters of fresh Vegetables and Pickles.

It has a good selection of Vegetables. Their pickles are really nice, not too strong with good flavor.

We really didn’t feel much like salad so we at least had to have Hommus!

Delicious. Plain and simple. The flavor was really nice, it was soft, not grainy nor was it too seasoned. The thing that got to me was, the plate looks like it’s filled with Hommus, but in fact this is just pasted around the edges of the plate.There is about 1cm of Hommus spread around the plate. It was sufficient though, for 2 people.

For the main dish, I had the Syrian Fatteh with Chicken Shawerma

Many Arab countries have their own version of “Fatteh or Fatta”. The Syrian one is a dish that contains Chick Peas, Hommus, Yoghurt, Tahini, Garlic and Oil. It comes in various types, with oil, with Shawerma (like above), etc. But the base is the same for all.

It is usually had with bread or just with a spoon. It is very thick and filling so having this plate is pretty much all you would need to have. The taste was really good, I think the best I have had at a restaurant. The one with the Chicken Shawerma is the most favored since it has a good taste to it, and the Chicken just fits so well with the Fatteh. There is slight seasoning on top, but the dish itself does not need any additional seasoning.

On the side of the Fattehs we ordered, I wanted to try one of their grills, so I ordered a plate of Sheesh Tawooq

A sign of a good Arabic Restaurant is if they execute grills well. After the good Fatteh, I really wanted to see how their grill would be!

Was it any good?
It was. First of all, there was plenty of Chicken on the plate with a little fries on the side.
The Chicken was really good. The cubes were grilled on a skewer and were cooked well, not as tender as I have had in the past but not over cooked, just in the fine line before being a little dry. It was very good though, and it had a slight taste of the smokiness of the grill, just a slight bit always gives it a nice flavor.The Chicken cubes were delicious.
The Fries were ordinary fries, not crispy, just soft and needed some salt.

The Service: Here’s the thing, they do not have bad service, just not good or special service. For instance, when they came to serve Plates, Forks, Knives and Plastic Cups for the Water we ordered, they were on top of each other and the waiter just placed it on the table. We had to take and arrange them ourselves. Placing things on the table is done quick and where ever, its fine. That’s the thing here to keep in mind, they aren’t serving badly because if you want something they are around and quick to serve, polite and attentive! It’s just, they aren’t garnishing any service. They do one thing only, food. They do not focus on “Dining Experience”. Ironically exactly what I review…

The Value: 1 Fatteh with Chicken Shawerma, 1 Fatteh with Oil, 1 Sheesh Tawooq Plate, 1 Large Local Water (not like they have any sort of International or Sparkling Water) and unlimited bread came to a total of 83 Dhs. Really good value, as the food we ordered would feed 3 quite well!
I couldn’t do more than 80% of the plate, neither did my friend and almost half the Sheesh Tawooq was left as well.

The Place:    5   / 10
The Service:  5   / 10
The Food:    6.5 / 10

Overall: 5.5 / 10

I’d recommend this place. I do wish to note, even though the overall rating is low, the food is good and it is worth visiting.

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Posted by on August 7, 2012 in Dine In


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