Papaya’s menu goes beyond the spice

(Photos: Hala Hawatmeh)
AMMAN — A quaint little restaurant squeezed onto one of the busiest streets of Luweibdeh, Papaya serves Thai cuisine, an often-underrepresented market in Jordan.اضافة اعلان

From fried rice to curry to stir fry, it offers a wide range of different Thai delicacies. 

The owner of the restaurant was the one to serve us, recommending the best dishes for us to sample.

We ordered a papaya salad, chicken pumpkin yellow curry, vegetable fried rice, phad thai, beef ginger stir fry, and a refreshing homemade lemongrass drink. And spice lovers, rejoice — for every option, you can request how mild or spicy you want your dish, with Papaya offering extra chili on the side to give your meal an extra kick. 

(Photos: Hala Hawatmeh)

For me the phad thai stole the show. It was perfectly moist, flavorful, but not overpoweringly so.

The beef ginger stir fry and chicken curry came as recommendations from the chef, and it was clear why.

The lemongrass drinks were also incredibly refreshing, quenching our thirst without altering the tastes of the other dishes.

The papaya salad is also the perfect dish for a warm day, with its refreshing crunch and slight sour tang. 

(Photos: Hala Hawatmeh)

The owner would regularly pass by our table to make sure the food was to our liking and took the time to chat with us about his journey with the restaurant.

He spoke of his passion for Thai culture and how spreading it through food was something he loved doing.

He told us that many of his current customers are ex-pats, and that he hopes to see a day when the Jordanian population becomes more familiar with Thai cuisine. 

I can honestly say that eating at Papaya was one of the rare occasions where I enjoyed every dish I sampled. The food was aromatic and flavorful, with spices mingling harmoniously.

Even the fried rice, which I do not often find myself getting particularly excited for, was the perfect complement to the curry and stir fry. 

Overall, I cannot say enough good things about Papaya.

(Photos: Hala Hawatmeh)

The only criticism I would have is that the restaurant may be too small to comfortably seat groups larger than four in the colder months.

I would also caution those who are extremely sensitive to spicy food to ask their waiters about the best mild options before ordering anything. 

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