28m - The cookie is not much of a Lebanese dessert. Granted. You can’t...
Welcome to 1930’s Damascus! Parking lot-turned Shisha lounge, Bandakji welcomes all you hungry and -misguided- smokers out-there.
Slightly more than two years after its opening in the Summer of 2013, Bandakji has positioned itself as a must-visit Shisha lounge in Hamra. The latest baby from Petit Group, the same bunch behind famous Petit Café, this parking lot-turned restaurant is designed to make you feel like a character in the beloved Syrian soap Bab al Hara (aka neighborhood gate). While Shisha cafes abound around town, the setting’s striking resemblance to the Tv series is a surefire draw. From the overarching portal of the entrance to the indoor Oriental sofas and the central fountain, no detail is left to chance.
To make the trip even more realistic- short of buying a plane ticket- all waiters are in Tarboush and Sherwel attire (or traditional Syrian get-up). The food is hearty and authentic with Shami flavors oozing from every plate. Imagine if you had a Syrian grandmother cooking for you at home; that’s what the cuisine at Bandakji feels like.
With the holy month of Ramadan officially kicking off this year, Bandakji is likely to be full to the brim until late at night so be sure to book ahead. Oh and word of caution: the restaurant doesn’t serve alcohol so if getting wasted is on your agenda, head elsewhere or be ready for a sobering experience.