Boho Haus : Hey Siri, what’s a synonym for just okay

Boho Haus
The menu at Boho Haus is Bohemian-inspired fare, with a selection of small and large plates ideal for sharing. (Photos: Zeid Odeh/Jordan News)
Restaurants are booming this time of year. Everyone is serving iftar and suhoor. After a long period of relative isolation, people are excited to go out and enjoy the Ramadan “spirit”. اضافة اعلان

This week, I decided to go to Boho Haus, a place that I have been meaning to visit for a while. It is a bohemian-style restaurant in Amman that is laid back, unconventional, and beautifully decorated. Customers seemed to be free-spirited and romantic.

The menu is bohemian-inspired fare, with a selection of small and large plates ideal for sharing. If properly implemented throughout its entire operation, this can be a unique concept with excellent results.

I went to the restaurant without a reservation. It was after iftar, but it was not packed. We were warmly greeted by the host who escorted and seated us at the table. Ten minutes later, I had still not seen a menu. Eventually a server approached with two bottles of water and asked what flavor of shisha I would like to smoke. So bohemian of them!

This was my first red flag. The two bottles of water would have been a nice gesture had they been on the house.

Surprised by the fact that I asked for the food menu at a food-serving establishment, the server brought it to me. The menu consists of an iftar set menu with choices of appetizers, mains, and dessert. They also offer a suhoor menu, with a selection of manakeesh, appetizers, salads, pastas, pizzas, and dessert.

We ordered a crab salad, mac and cheese balls, parmesan chicken fingers, pesto pasta, pepperoni pizza, vegetarian pizza, and a chicken wrap.

The food arrived very quickly, which was a bit of a relief. We started with the crab salad that was tossed with the right amount of dressing. Even though this dish has been crawling its way into the menus of many restaurants in Amman, here they have the addition of mangos, which gave the overall dish a more interesting twist. The vegetables in the salad show excellent cutting skills.
The menu is Bohemian-inspired fare, with a selection of small and large plates ideal for sharing. If properly implemented throughout its entire operation, this can be a unique concept with excellent results.
The mac and cheese balls are deep-fried and served with a marinara sauce. They were a beautiful golden color, but lacked seasoning.

The parmesan chicken fingers were served with a side of sour cream. They were fried beautifully, yet we could not taste the Parmesan.

You can choose your own pasta and sauce. I chose penne with pesto, to try out their version of the sauce. It was a creamy pesto, but the menu did not make that clear. I had aimed for a light pesto with penne instead of a heavier pasta dish.

The overall taste was good; again, it would not hurt to add a little bit more parmesan.

We ordered a half vegetarian and half pepperoni pizza. I found that the pepperoni side was much more flavorful than the vegetarian side. Had the vegetables been lightly seasoned and tossed with some olive oil, the flavor of that part of the pizza would have been enhanced. Seasoning brings character to the food, and salt brings it to life. The oven does not magically create a personality for the food item. It is an oven, not Hogwarts.

The chicken wrap sandwich was the highlight of my meal. The chicken was pleasantly crunchy and was accompanied by a sauce and a side of vegetables. I am glad I left it toward the end of the meal.

I also ordered the apple basil drink that my server recommended. It was light and refreshing, and not overly sweet.I highly recommend it.

I ended my journey with dessert. I ordered the crêpe Suzette and the crème brûlée. There is always room for dessert; it goes straight to the heart.

The crème brûlée was caramelized tableside, using brown sugar and a torch. It is a great way to engage the guests who see the caramelization process and, of course, to enjoy the smell.

I was amazed to see crêpe Suzette on their menu, and that it is prepared at the table. The dessert consists of an orange-based sauce served with crêpes and topped with vanilla ice cream.

This dish, the story goes, was the result of a happy accident of one of the chefs trying to impress the Prince of Wales, as a bottle of Grand Marnier accidentally got poured into the sauce and flamed. The sauce tasted beautiful. It was then served to the prince who named the dish after one of the ladies present at the table. It would be a great story to be shared by the server while making this dish tableside.

The technicality of making this dish was a little off, even though it tasted great. Using metal tongs on a nonstick pan can scratch it; I suggest using a wooden spoon or a regular pan since the ingredients used are not going to stick anyway. Also, it took over 30 minutes to gather the ingredients to have our dessert ready.

As a venue, the ambience and the interior are absolutely beautiful. It completely reflects the theme of the restaurant and the vision. However, the food, which was overall average, and the service were lost somewhere along the way.

All in all, the service has a lot of room for improvement. The wait time at the table needs to be reduced. Moreover, even though our server was friendly and made the waiting a tad more bearable, I find the place slightly overpriced for the experience as a whole.

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