Ask anyone in Amman and he or she will know the restaurant, Hashem. In an unassuming spot tucked between two buildings on Al Malek Faisal street, Hashem has been serving diners for over fifty years. Its clientele includes the Jordanian royalty, visiting dignitaries, locals and travelers, who, like us, came by recommendation of their trusted guide book.
With bright morning light filling the outdoor seating, we headed to one of the indoor tables. Moments after we sat, a server quickly offered four piping glasses of tea. Another asked us if we wanted the “Complete”. Relieved not to have to order, we said yes.
Hashem is a model of efficiency. Minutes later, our table filled up with plates of onions, tomatoes, mint, warm pitas, green chili, french fries, and moutabel, a rich blend of roasted eggplant, yogurt, and olive oil. The hummus that arrived was deliciously combined with ful (a bean), nuts, and whole chickpeas. Hummus in the Middle East is definitely a cut above most hummus you find in North America. It’s richer and creamier, making you want to savor every bit. It is the falafel, however, that has everyone talking. It is considered to be the best in Jordan. We enjoyed every bite, noting the crispness of its exterior and its fluffy center, perfectly spiced.
I left thinking that more restaurants should focus on smaller menus, perfecting a few dishes. People come from all over the world to try Hashem’s falafels. Diners are served quickly, food is hot and fresh, and waste is minimal. And, of course, I also just left completely satisfied.