Shamsa: Satisfaction for your breakfast cravings

Shamsa : Satisfaction for your breakfast cravings
(Photos: Zeid Odeh/Jordan News)
Lately, two things have been on my cravings list: breakfast and brunch items. Maybe this is because I am working most nights, and I would rather seclude myself from any social interaction on my day off. So, my only time available for socialization is in the mornings.اضافة اعلان

One of my friends suggested that I go to a restaurant in the Dabouq District called Shamsa, an Arabic rooftop restaurant and café serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

To change things up, I decided not to look up the restaurant in any way, just to keep the surprise element.

Shamsa is located on the top floor of the Dabouq District — a new complex built right by Khalda circle with multiple food and beverage spots. It is a pretty busy area with lots of shops nearby, but thankfully, the district has parking.

As I walked in, I noticed large windows overlooking nearby areas and plenty of sunlight shining through. The interior is simple and has a café-like style with different seating arrangements, including couches. Considering my notorious indecisiveness, the options made it challenging for me to pick where to sit.

The restaurant mainly serves Arabic cuisine, with a little influence from international dishes and cooking methods, which makes it a bit more upscale than normal Arabic dishes we are used to, yet not too much that it is overpriced.

The menu had multiple breakfast items, cold appetizers, hot appetizers, and main course dishes. We ordered the tomato qallayieh, hummus with meat, a sambusek variety, fried cauliflower, arayes with meat (meat pies), and a pastrami and cheese flatbread.

The food arrived quickly, and the overall presentation of the dishes was simple yet elegant. Their choice of plates made the little buffet a little more appealing.
Another aspect I enjoyed ... is that they bring you individual bread plates instead of a shared one, making you feel less guilty ... about reaching out for the shared bread every time you would like one.
My two favorite dishes were the fried cauliflower and the pastrami and cheese flatbread. The cauliflower was perfectly fried, and the spicy sauce it was tossed in was on point. This is a great vegetarian hot appetizer dish to be shared. I would suggest adding some cumin to the mix as a flavor component and to ease up the digestion of all this cauliflower (if you know, you know).

The flatbread was also excellent, from the dough to the topping. The saltiness of the pastrami and the mildness of the cheese went hand in hand and complemented each other. The umami flavor from the pastrami made this a very addictive appetizer.

Other items we ordered were also great. The all-in-house over ready-made food items was definitely a plus for me, especially the hummus and the sambusek.

Now, I cannot say the consistency of the qallayieh was wrong, it was right, and the seasoning was great, but I, personally, would like the tomato chunks to be a little smaller so that it’s easier to consume. It can be quite challenging to get to the right consistency with this tomato stew-like hot appetizer, so I would personally reduce it just a touch more to get it to a slightly thicker consistency.

The variety of items on the sambusek plate was a nice addition, especially because it allows people to try na assortment of them instead of one type. However, I would slightly season the inside of the sambusek a little more just to enhance the overall experience of this dish.

Sambusek dough can be tricky since some people use phyllo dough and others prepare homemade dough that can be more of a bread consistency rather than a crunchy one, but I enjoyed Shamsa’s offering.

Another aspect I enjoyed in this restaurant is that they bring you individual bread plates instead of a shared one, making you feel less guilty — and awkward — about reaching out for the shared bread every time you would like one. Or maybe my friends are just judgmental; either way, it was still a nice touch.

Service was very friendly and attentive, and the ambiance, in general, was calm and relaxed. The prices were good, and I would go back to try out their main course items as well, probably at night time, and their olive oil smoothie.

If you are looking for somewhere calm with good food and a view, I recommend trying this place for a different experience with friends or family.

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