Damascus, Sea Point
11:00 to 23:00 Mon to Sun
Price Range (p/p)
Medium | R100 - R300
We attending the opening evening at Damascus last week – an evening experiencing the middle east.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by the owner, Mr Liaket Sonday who welcomed all his guests making them feel at home. We were then introduced to head chef, Muhammad Modrek who hails from Syria. Modrek is a trained chef having studied and worked in restaurants and hotels abroad. The name of the restaurant is Muhammad’s way of paying homage to one of the oldest cities in the world.
The evening commenced with a beautiful thikr followed by Magrib Salah. Before starters arrived, Mr Sonday and Muhammad addressed the attendees. He tells the tale of how he and Muhammad formed a wonderful alliance. He sees himself as the financier with Modrek and his wife being the brains behind it all. Muhammad talks about his life in Syria and how it contrasts to his life in Cape Town. He talks about his struggles and how one leap of faith taken by Mr and Mrs Sonday meant that he is now able to see his vision unfold and become real right before him.
After speeches, starters were served. We started with Harira Soup. This soup can best be described as warm, not spicy, traditional and delicious. It is made of tomato, lentils, chickpeas, meat pieces and fresh herbs. The second starter was a Mezze Platter. This platter was beautifully presented and consisted of sesiky moussaka, hummus, moutabal, baba-gounoush and yalanji and was served with cut up pita breads, salads and olives. This platter is refreshing to say the least. It is the perfect starter to share, especially when you out in a group.
Not long after the starters, the main dish arrived. The dish was a Syrian Mixed Platter for one. It was made up of a lamb chop that was juicy, tender and cooked perfectly inside. There was a half portion of Shaqaf which are tender cubes of beef fillet and a half portion of Sheesh Tawook which are chicken cubes cooked in a yogurt and tomato gravy. There was also a full Skewer Kebab. The Skewer Kebab is made of ground lamb. I generally tend to stay away from the Kebabs as at most places I have eaten them, they are usually dry. But this was moist and spiced beautifully. The meats were accompanied by a rice dish that I am told was cooked in broth over charcoals. It was definitely something different and when eating it, you could taste the full flavours coming through.
Finally, dessert was served. I must admit that after the meal I had just enjoyed, I really did not think I would have any place for dessert. I was more than happy to see that dessert was a traditional warm and crispy waffle, drizzled with chocolate sauce and served with ice cream. When I say it was a waffle of perfection, then make no mistake, IT WAS!
Mr Sonday prides himself on the fact that all fixtures and fittings were supplied and fitted by community members. He did not have to look too far out of his circle as the “talent exists among us” as he put it. By the look of the finish, one can see that no expense was spared. The furniture is high end. The colour scheme as well as layout of the restaurant is beautiful and elegant. There is this vibey Arabic feel to it. It is a family restaurant but you could go there with your partner too.
The restaurant is able to host small and intimate functions in an area that can be closed off from the main restaurant. There is a Sheesha Lounge where you can sit back and enjoy your hookah flavour of choice.
For Ramadaan, they will be having a set menu and will open daily at 3pm. There will also be salaah facilities.
At present they are not open for breakfast but will be opening within the next few weeks. Meals average between R110 – R195 per person. They do have sharing options as well and their portions sizes are more than decent.
For now make your lunch or dinner booking by calling the restaurant. They are open daily from 11am to 11pm and make sure to dress in your smart casual attire.
This launch was definitely a memorable and delicious experience.
By Munira Allie
Project Manager by day, everything else all of the time. A wannabe baker and passionate chef who loves an adrenalin rush cos it makes me feel most alive. I love fast cars and daydream about superbikes. I have a predilection for all things nature and love capturing the Almighty’s majestic beauty even more. If I had a statement to describe my life it would be “she turned her can’t into can and her dreams into plans”.