Where the wind’s from the east, and the sun’s from the west,
And the sand in the glass is right
Come on down, stop on by, hop a carpet and fly
To another Arabian night!
- Aladdin, Arabian Nights
Last time we left off at the Deera Souq, and the beautiful wares we found there. Well, after the souq, we went to have lunch at a place called Najd Village. Najd is a traditional restaurant that serves fantastic food with huge portions. You are taken to a small, private curtained room and dine sitting on the floor, lounging against little armrests. Since the room is completely closed in the women are able to take off their headpieces to eat, which I think is a brilliant idea. Normally, they have to delicately lift the bottom of their face scarf and slip the food up in underneath, which sounds messy and difficult. So here, they can remove the scarf and eat with their family. The waiter lets you know before he comes in, so you can cover up again.
We started the meal with some traditional Arabic coffee and dates. The coffee was heavily combined with cardamom, which gave it a strong honey colour. The little piece of twig in the spout stops the seeds from being poured into your coffee, ingenious! It was strong and wonderful.
We then ordered lunch. M. and Papa Bear have been here before with some friends and they ordered the meal for four. Apparently there was enough leftovers to last them a week. So we were very good and only ordered two mains, and some side dishes. We had this amazing beef and pepper stew, and a chicken dish with rice. Plus the Arabic version of tzaziki, and some tahini (which I managed to coat myself in within seconds, in the photo you can see I’ve begun the damage on the floor – it looks small, but I had it from head to toe!). Plus these huge bread puffs that had a cinnamon flavour and were delicious!
Of course there was only three of us, and we couldn’t finish it all, so they took it away and packaged it up. But, in a moment of weakness, we ordered dessert. Honey pancakes and date butter. Yum! They were sweet, but not overly so and the three that I managed to stuff down were just perfect. (Just to let you know, I didn’t make the mess in the picture. Our waiter did. After the tahini incident I am quick to point that out.)
We walked in, we waddled home.
We spent that night simply recovering from the huge amounts of food and continuing to get over the jetlag. The next morning, however, was off to the old city! But I might make that another post… (I promised Himself to get to the camels soon! I will, I promise!)