Ard Canaan Restaurant

The restaurant holds a rich history from the cradles of civilization–the Levant countries of Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and parts of Sinai. The interior features historical display elements like the huge limestone reception desk depicting the rock which can be found in Jerusalem, wall fixtures similar to those in Al Al-Aqsa Mosque, floor patterns and fittings, identical to the materials widely used in Amman, Damascus and Jerusalem.

The retail, dining and even the washroom area, were all lavishly decorated. Elaborate carvings on furniture’s, embellished lighting fixtures, luxurious rich-colored textured fabrics, an extravagant chandelier and mesmerizing fountain. All these are generally employed into the room to create an authentic Arabian opulent retreat.

The menu was simple and straightforward and if you’re lucky enough (like me), the manager explains to you the ingredients, procedure and even the history of the dish. Selection of mezzeh being a staple food is a must hence I tried both hot and cold varieties like the Spicy Dakka Salad, Hummus and the must-try Ard Canaan Eggplant and Falafel. The lime with basil (instead of mint) is also a refreshing medium sweet mix.

I contemplated between Mansaf and Maqlubeh for a while and even though I love Mansaf the same way I love Jordan, I thought I’d give Lamb Maqlubeh a try. Referring to Wikipedia: Maqluba (Arabic: ‫مقلوبة‬‎‎; Turkish: maklube) is a traditional dish from the Levant. The dish includes meat, rice, and fried vegetables placed in a pot, which is then flipped upside down when served, hence the name maqluba, which translates literally as “upside-down”.

Should I recommend the place to friends? I already did and will continue to do so. I myself will come back to try some other dishes and perhaps their dessert which I failed to do as I was completely full from Maqlubeh.

Lastly, the restaurant also boasts being title-holder of the World’s Largest Key from the Guinness Book of World Records.

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