Beit Sitti: The ultimate cooking/dining experience!

If you’re visiting Amman, then you must, like literally must go to Beit Sitti. If you’re going with a group or just with your partner in crime,  this is a wonderful experience to go through. I had booked a place for 2 (hubby & I) before I went to Amman. Let me tell you that it was one of the most memorable moments I have experienced so far (well bungee jumping is up there too).

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Beit Sitti is cute home in Jabal Al-Weibdeh owned and run by the Haddad family. The sisters wanted their grandmother’s legacy to live on and they wanted to share their passion for food with others…what better way to offer that through the coolest cooking/dining sessions! Hence the name Beit Sitti..which means grandma’s home in Arabic. We also get to learn how to prepare 4 Arabic courses.

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You can go there for either breakfast, lunch or supper. We decided to go to the supper session and we ended up being in a group of 8; an Italian family and an American couple. We had loads of fun sharing our travel sorties and cooking together. You learn how to cook traditional Arabic meals with the help of Um Reem (the chef/cooking teacher). You get to cook with veggies and spices picked and prepared by local women. What I loved about this is that they make their own spices and sell them! All to support women and local farmers and producers.

The decor is to die for! I want to live there! The way it’s set up, the furniture, the ambiance….everything was so vintage and so adorbs!!! It sincerely does give out the vibe of grandma’s home. Hubby and I got the chance to sit down before the cooking class started with Um Reem; she was the kindest, funniest woman I ever met! She even appointed me as her assistant because she loved me so much.

When the group was finally complete, we started the cooking class with a drink. We got to have a homemade lemonade served in a mason jar…omg!!!! YUM! It was so delicious, I couldn’t resist asking for seconds.

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We then started the class with a little introduction and explanation to the idea behind the house. Our first course was to prepare Maqluba; a traditional Middle Eastern dish made with the combination of rice, chicken, eggplant, cauliflower, potatoes and tomatoes. They are all assembled in a way to form a castle in a pot and cooked that way…then when the whole thing is cooked and ready to serve, you flip it onto a plate. Then it comes out so festive and delicious looking, you don’t even have the heart to dig in.

Look at how delish that looks!!!! AHHHH!!! Each of us had a chance to touch the plates and add our own love to it. This was super interactive and entertaining. Watching foreigners love Arabic food is so heart-warming..I can’t help but feel a little proud. Can you see how Um Reem so professionally and casually turned this baby!

Then we had the chance to prepare an authentic gardener’s salad made with fresh locally picked veggies. They smelled so strong and just so real!! I cannot explained how fresh they smelled.

Hubby was so excited and he was in charge of putting in the components of the salad together and mixing it all with the dressing. I was so proud to see him cook! Love you babe (if you’re reading this)!

We then got to make Mtabal (aka Baba Ganoush or at least close to that…there are slight differences but ultimately they’re both dishes prepared with egg plants). I had to whisk the eggplant with yogurt and gosh was that a workout or what?!

I unfortunately could not take pictures of the dessert, because I was appointed  whisker yet again…I don’t know why! It was a Mhalabya. This dessert dish consists of mixing milk powder, starch powder, water, sugar and orange blossom. OMG, it’s so good! Mouth-watering and just ugh! Food porn all over!

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After finally finishing everything, we all sat down around the table and got the chance to eat what we cooked, while talking about our lives. Both families were lovely and made us feel so at ease. Hubby enjoyed their company and it was so cute to see him in a different environment (he’s a lawyer…and he’s always in suits)!

If ever you have the chance to visit Amman, Jordan, you need to make time for Beit Sitti. It’s the ultimate cooking/dining experience. It literally had me smiling so hard the whole time, I had face cramps! Haha! Um Reem was so sweet, I wanted to put her in my pocket. So was the beautiful host, Raya…I couldn’t get a photo with her, le boo!!!

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I think this is the best way to connect with you better half, have fun and meet new people. Make friends and share stories…This place is an absolute must!

 

What we do on weekends…

Food is always a good way to share happy memories with friends and family. It’s basically one of the only times where you sit in groups and enjoy each other’s company without rules, boundaries or limitations. Food is a social activity and so we humans take this time to share our ideas and thoughts about life and share our points of views about the things we love. My friends and I are always on the hunt to trying new food and to be quiet honest..sometimes we’re amazed by how awesome the food is and sometimes we’re just meh…not too impressed. We decided that this weekend we would try Russian food. I was a little scared because I did not know what to expect, but luckily it turned out pretty good.

We went to a little restaurant called La Caverne on Côte-des-Neiges in Montréal. A homey Russian restaurant with the cutest decor. It’s small and very humble…perfect for intimate dinners. The place was filled with people and there was a live band, well a couple singing in Russian and sometimes English music. The atmosphere made me feel comfortable and cozy, it almost felt like being home.

I had Borscht soup and Chicken Kiev. The Chicken Kiev was super good. It was well cooked and super tender. The potatoes were so well seasoned and the salad sauce was super delicious. Unfortunately, we ate some much there was no room for dessert. But if you’re looking to experience Russian food for the first time and you’re in the Montreal region, I suggest you try La Caverne. It’s worth it…and the prices aren’t bad!

So I can’t just talk about food…I want to also share what I wore for this night out in town…it was rainy and a little coldish…we style wasn’t gonna be compromised by that! Not with me anyway..so here’s what I wore:

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What I wore:

-Topshop striped shirt with side slits.
-Forever 21 stressed denim.
-Zara leopard booties.
-Antique necklace from Jerusalem.

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If you guys are looking to eat super hearty food..then this restaurant will be it for you. You’ll for sure enjoy the cozy feeling of the place and the staff will make you feel right at home.

Till next time x

Darbar | Montreal

There are so many amazing restaurants in Montreal and my friends and I are always up for trying the new ones that pop up here and there. We also like to try different types of cuisines to refresh our taste buds. So this weekend, my friend Jazz and I decided to go Indian. I will share with you some photos to make you drool and let you know my thoughts. It’s so not a restaurant review by any means!!! And even though I’m no food expert, I sure do love to eat, so without further ado, here’s what we ate!

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On Blvd. Saint-Laurent

I was never the type to take risks with food, I was super picky and downright annoying. But something changed and my curiosity got the better of me…and it has been a little over a year that I decided to eat out to try different things. I tried Ethiopian, Moroccan, Afghan, Japanese, Chinese, French, Italian, Turkish and now Indian. I will not lie, I was a little hesitant due to the spiciness of Indian cuisine. I wasn’t sure how my tummy would react to this. Jazz had mentioned this restaurant to me and it totally peaked my curiosity when she mentioned we would be sitting on the floor. Then and there I knew I needed to try this restaurant out. Darbar is by far the best culinary experience I have had. You definitely get to experience a little part of authentic India…with the food, the seating, the music and the service.

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First of all, I was ecstatic to try eating while sitting on the floor, it was something that intrigued me and I needed to get it out of my system.  I will not lie that the first few minutes were a little uncomfortable and annoying, but when I got the hang of it..MANN!! did I have fun 🙂

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The service was amazing and everyone was so nice. The waiters were helpful and made sure I understood what I was eating. They were courteous and humble. I would most definitely give an A+ for service.

Jazz and I ate like pigs and enjoyed every minute of it. The food was delightful. Just delicious and overall yummyyyyy. The spices and dishes had my mouth party for hours!!!

Here are some pictures of what we ate…and believe me that these pictures don’t do the food any justice….OMGGG, I would eat there like everyday if I can…But I am sure my pants wouldn’t like that.

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For starters, we opted for the samosas and the chicken tikka. They were both just brilliant and ugh!!! to die for. The samosas were a little on the spicy side, but they were served with cool yogurt to dip in. There were hints of coriander, cumin and curry…the combination of flavors was just an explosion in my mouth. The chicken tikka was equally delicious…although the texture of it bothered me a little…I would still eat it again. It was warm and appetizing. The chicken was cooked to perfection.

To cool down my mouth with the spiciness, I decided to drink up some mango lassi. It’s like a smoothies but less yogurty and thick. It was just the right amount of sweet..not to the extent of killing your eating vibes.

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Since I was a beginner in the Indian food world..I decided to go for a dish that had a little bit of everything. Sort of like a small portion of 3 different dishes. It was called the meat Thali dish…which means it’s a selection of different dishes, usually served in small bowls on a round tray. The round tray was steel with multiple compartments.

The Thali dish had chikend Tandoori, BBQed chicken, veggies, rice, Nan, paperdhum and salad. I love love loveeedd the chicken…it was flavorful and exotic and just made me crave for more. It was well seasoned and cooked. The rice and salad were good..the nan..ugh…the NAN!! It was fresh, warm and just comforting. There was a little lentil mix that I wasn’t too too fond of..but other than that, the dish was just nom nomz all over.

Jazz decided to go with the chicken Balti.  This was curry cooked chicken pieces in a special wok (imported from India). Made with green peppers, onions, mushrooms, and tomatoes. I couldn’t taste it (I was saving place for dessert)…but she wouldn’t stop saying how delicious it was.

If I could describe the food in one word, I would have to go with fireworks. Literally!!! This restaurant is a major palate teaser. You have to be ready to be mind-blown by the mount of flavors in your mouth. I would for sure for sure go there again..no brainer!!!

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To finish off this culinary prostitution, we went with a Rasmalai. This dessert consists off rounded patties of fine milk curd that are cooked in syrup to create a unique texture (not the greatest texture in my mouth…but the taste made it better). The patties are then immersed in full cream milk and finished with a sprinkle of chopped pistachio nuts. This dessert was super light, refreshing and truly delicious. It was the perfect ending to the perfect dinner.

Overall, my experience with Darbar was more than pleasant. I am glad my friend Jazz convinced me to go there. The ambiance was exceptional and the experience was remarkable. I most definitely felt like I traveled to India. The staff was kind and the food was amazing..what more do I want.

If ever you’re in Montreal for a visit and looking to try out new food..well then do not hesitate to hit up Darbar. Trust me, you will not regret it!

I’ll leave you with a link to the restaurant info and menu:
http://www.restodarbar.com/engdarbar/

Until next time!!

Cheers xo