After a week of admittedly very good pub grub, my palate was desperate for a change. And no, I didn’t want Indian food or Chinese food. I decided to save that for when I got back. Hey – I do not go to a far away country to feel like I’m back home. A quick Google search later, I found Damascus Gate: a Syrian and Lebanese Restaurant on Dublin’s Camden Street Upper. It was Friday night and we didn’t have a reservation, but we managed to get a table for two.
I absolutely loved the decor of the restaurant. There are trinkets everywhere. The whole layout is haphazard. There are a couple of HUGE King/Queen like seats hanging around. It’s probably the only time I was in Ireland and felt like I was in another country. If I ever have the chance to go back, I know which seats I’ll ask for when I make a reservation…
For starters, we ordered the Al Shamm Mezza: a sharing plate of falafel, lamb samosa, hummus, baba ghanouj and salad. It came with a generous portion of pita bread. I deeply enjoyed this – especially the whole sharing and eating with your hands part of it. BUT – this was one of those dishes where I could hear my mother in the background saying, “Don’t fill up on bread!” – but I do it anyway cause it’s sssssoooo good.
For mains, we had the Kabseh which the menu describes as: well-cooked lamb dressed on rice and cooked with spices, dried lime, whole cloves, black cardamons, sprinkled with nuts and served with lamb. To me, it was a Syrian/Lebanese biriyani. I loved it. The flavours were great. The lamb was tender, but a little dry for my liking.
I really really really wanted dessert, but we didn’t even manage to finish the main. I must say – I’m generally a bigger eater than most people, but the portions in Dublin are simply astounding. I mean – wait staff are always surprised by how little we order, but the portions are just insanely big for two people. Wait staff are also surprised when we say we don’t drink – but hey. And no – I don’t want a coke or some sugary sweet drink with lots of empty calories that I just don’t care for.
Just before heading out, I nipped off to the loo while my partner in crime settled the bill. Upon my return, two complimentary ice cream cones had magically appeared out of thin air. Ah – I am no stranger to the generosity of Arab hospitality, but my stomach was sssooo full in that moment that the thought of an ice cream was enough to send my eyes wide open in fear and have me running for my life.
All in all, it was a meal fitting of our last supper in Dublin. I highly approve.