Another tourist spot that wasn’t a trap serving the best dessert of the trip

Jordanian Heritage is a Jordanian restaurant in Amman that was recommended to us by our hotel when I asked for local recommendations. Upon arrival, although it was apparent that the restaurant was catering to tourists, I immediately fell in love with the setting which is in an outdoor courtyard.

The tall and beautiful Middle Eastern buildings surrounding us only added to the atmosphere. I liked how the menu mentioned the origin of the dishes.

To start, we had Ekbab Obeidat and Athan Al Shayeb; and of course, a shot of Arak

For main, we had the national dish of Jordan – Mansaf. Lamb cooked in fermented yogurt sauce (jameed) served with rice and more jameed. I was glad to finally taste this dish.

The star of this meal was the dessert. We had a honey cake, and my favorite of the entire trip – Zalabya with ice cream. Zalabya are like deep fried donut balls in a syrup and served with Arabic pistachio ice cream. They reminded me of another great dessert, from India, gulab jamun, but these were not as soggy. The combination of sweet, creamy, warm and cold temperature, crunchy outside and soft inside, just made the perfect bite. Unfortunately, I could not find this dessert anywhere else in Jordan, but craved it at every meal. At every new restaurant from this day, I would skip to the dessert section to see if it was there like reading a book from the last page first!

I enjoyed this meal. The service was good, the setting was nice, and the dessert was just incredible! I would come again just for the dessert.

2 thoughts on “Another tourist spot that wasn’t a trap serving the best dessert of the trip”

  1. I like that you mention the highlight of the meal was a simple dessert of fried dough balls covered in syrup with ice cream, and the reasons. I have not travelled much at all, so appreciate reading this blog and learning about parts of the world through your experiences, thanks for sharing. I will never make it to Jordan and kind of wish I could try the zalabya, but these sound similar to loukamades, which I remember was often served for free at the end of a meal in Greece, and also have a pistachio version – could you comment on the similarities/differences?

    1. You are right, the dishes are similar. That is one of the joys of travel and food. You can see how a region’s dish is influenced by war, conquest, movement, immigration, regional influences etc. In this case, perhaps there are regional similarities. I am no expert in dessert, but I believe in the Greek version, the balls are dipped in the sauce and then fried which creates a crunchy outer, but in the one I had in Jordan, the sauce was at the bottom of the dish and the balls just placed in. Also, I believe the ones I had in Jordan may use certain spices not found in the Greek version. Anyway, someone with more expertise can give us more insight hopefully.

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