Restaurant Hashim. Could be the best hummus I’ve ever had in my life. Anyone who already has a guidebook will already know this. With some falafel and fuul to match. Hashim in Amman was the first and last place I ate in Jordan during my 10 days there.
Some Facebook followers might recall my desperate cry for help last summer in attempting to find a good hummus recipe and method. Fail. My Lebanese friend Daniel of Canvas of Light wrote that seeing some of those posted suggestions made him want to weep with despair.
Well, tasting the hummus at Hashim nearly put me to tears. It’s as smooth as silk and comes with not just that little splash of extra olive oil, but also a bit of lemon juice with a tiny bit of spicy pepper to it.
Hashim is not a best kept secret nor off the beaten path in Amman, so you can expect double the crowd – the loyal local following and the LP-in-hand travelers. The manager at Jordan Tower Hotel (see review) sent me here without thinking twice. Jordanian celebrities come here. THE KING comes here. Need I say more?
The first time I went I had to sort out where to go and what to do. The restaurant is half indoors in two facing buildings and half in a courtyard/alleyway between them. There’s a retractable canvas awning for the outdoor seating, and the restaurant is divided into several rooms open to the outside. One is where the falafel is being made, another for the hummus and beans, and yet another is a tea service area. All of these have plastic tables and chairs, and generally they are all full. I can’t comment on the crowd for the wee hours, but I am told they are open 24 hours.
The second time I came with James Clark and while we stood in the courtyard deciding where to sit, a middle-aged server, Hasan, came and hustled us off to a table. He spoke enough English to make this easy for a traveler. Two hummus plates, two teas, two falafel, one plate of fuul.
The hummus comes with a side of fresh tomato slices, fresh mint, and a quarter of a raw onion. I read a framed article on the wall there that said Hashim’s goes through 40 kilos of onions in a day. Seemed a little harsh, but I dipped some into the hummus and it was magically transformed. Our waiter/guide Hasan saw this and came over to correct my method. Tear off a piece of bread, lay a slice of tomato and one of onion across it, fold it and dip into hummus. Yeah, that works nicely.
The tiny, perfectly shaped falafel, made to order, also paired nicely with a coating of hummus.
Hot tea comes sweet and you break the leaves of fresh mint into it to steep a bit. The beans are also a big hit here. I tried them and liked them well enough, but beans – or fuul – just isn’t my thing I guess. We left stuffed silly despite thinking we were ordering a modest amount of food. But that didn’t keep us from dessert as you’ll see…