Joz Hind: Family-style dining in Weibdeh

Right: Joz Hind’s grilled chicken with roasted vegetables and kale. Left: Joz Hind’s facade on a busy Luweibdeh street features several sidewalk tables enveloped in the shade of two large umbrellas. (Photos: Raya Tarawneh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — “No veal today?” asked a customer, after skimming Joz Hind’s lunch options for the day. “Buonismo!” yelled another, as he exchanged a few laughs with the waiters and then sat down to eat.اضافة اعلان

Joz Hind feels like the kind of place where every customer is a regular. It is small and inconspicuous, tucked away on a busy Luweibdeh street that is littered with cafes and restaurants. The facade features several sidewalk tables enveloped in the shade of two large umbrellas. A glass door in the back leads to a hidden indoor dining space decorated with geometric tiles.

Italian Chef Luca Lelli, who runs Joz Hind with his Jordanian wife Hind, hesitates to call it a restaurant, instead referring to it as a family-style kitchen and Weibdeh “neighborhood spot.” The kitchen sees some of the same faces every day, greeting them by name.

Joz Hind does not have a traditional menu that customers can peruse. Instead, on the pavement sits a large blackboard that lists different iterations of pasta, meat, and vegetarian options every day.

On the day of my visit, they were serving pasta with pumpkin, zucchini, and parsley sauce, a pumpkin and lentil dish with steamed kale and carrots, and grilled chicken with roasted vegetables and kale. In a break with tradition that surprised customers, they were also offering a roasted sea bream in an avocado sauce with tomatoes, potatoes, and olives, in place of the veal. Fresh juice options included watermelon, mango, and lemon.

I opted for the grilled chicken dish, which came in a flavorful lemon-mustard honey-sauce on a bed of kale and a colorful combination of carrots, pumpkin, zucchini, and eggplant. The vegetables were perfectly seasoned and tender-crisp, creating a unique texture that complemented that of the chicken. Shortly after I started to eat, the waiter returned with a freshly made chili sauce that he encouraged me to try with both the vegetables and the chicken.

“We use whatever seasonal ingredients are available to us to come up with new meals every day,” Lelli explained. The chef does not limit himself to a fixed menu, but instead looks to the fresh market for daily inspiration. He emphasized that every dish is “fresh, balanced, and complete,” consistent with the restaurant’s commitment to healthy and nutritious eating.

Joz Hind also uses locally-sourced organic produce. It works with farms across the country to acquire essential ingredients like kale, lemongrass, and olive oil, in addition to fruits like the watermelons and lemons used in fresh juices. This ensures good quality ingredients while also giving back to the community and promoting socially-responsible eating.

Customers leave Joz Hind having enjoyed an authentic, home-cooked meal and a communal ambience that is unmatched. The dining experience is truly unconventional, made all the more exciting by the spontaneity of the dishes.

Surely, no two dining experiences at Joz Hind will be the same.

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