Jardin du Jasmin
Time Out says
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A stylish family-run Damascene café.
Jardin du Jasmin is the very definition of Instagrammable. Its stylish, bright interior looks like an enchanting jasmine garden (a nod to the Syrian capital of Damascus, the so-called ‘city of jasmine’), with foliage-heavy ceilings and dangling filament lightbulbs. One wall is adorned with thought-provoking lines from Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani, while patterned monochrome tiles embellish the floors. By the till, a glass-fronted cabinet flaunts a row of baked sweet treats and colourful salads.
The chalkboard menu is short and veg-heavy, and you pay for everything at the counter when ordering. Don’t miss the fattet houmous, a comforting, creamy concoction. It’s multi-layered: fried squares of pita bread are topped with tahini sauce and yogurt, then chickpeas, pomegranate seeds and parsley. It was presented in a pretty chrome pot and we scooped out spoonfuls eagerly: this was hands-down the best dish we tried. The falafel wrap, a hefty size and well stuffed, was sadly too dry, the vine leaves (plump with rice, tomato, olive oil and pomegranate molasses) were moist but bitter, and the moussaka was stew-like, served cold, and went unfinished. Most salads and all the cakes contain nuts, so fellow nut-allergy folk, take note.
Most diners were only stopping for tea and cake, which is the best way to take in the surroundings (and the pretty crockery), and get those sought-after social media snaps.
161 Great Portland St
|Transport:||Tube: Great Portland St|
|Price:||Lunch for two with drinks and service: around £60.|
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