Rainbow Street in Amman is one of my favourites. Sometimes, it has a little bit of a “tourist trap” feel despite the fact that most people I see frequenting the many establishments that line the street are Jordanian. It feels a little bit like how Seminyak in Bali felt to me maybe 10 years ago. That’s why despite the many delicious little cafes and restaurants along the strip (Turtle Green, Strada, Esmat) I’m always a little reluctant to “pop in” and try a new Rainbow place without first researching and looking up reviews.
Q Restaurant is a place I had passed numerous times. The sign out front stating “Soup of the day: wine” always elicited a little giggle from me, but I never stepped in. Right next another restaurant that has a cardboard cutout of a king and queen (not the King and Queen of Jordan) kind of turned me off. Stupid, I know, to associate two completely different establishments that share only a wall. So like Wild Jordan, Q was a wonderful surprise (where I plan on taking my colleagues from work soon).
A friend suggested we meet at the restaurant for a little drink a few months ago. We sat in a corner upstairs that I was told is where the owner himself was born (the restaurant is in a converted family home). Downstairs has more of a comfortable cafe theme, with a selection of books that a patron can buy or sit and read. Upstairs feels more like a trendy restaurant-bar, one of the only places ON Rainbow Street allowed to serve alcohol. A small terrace also lines the second floor, allowing us to sit and chat with a view overlooking the street below.
I enjoyed the food so much (between us we had smoke salmon tabbouleh, Parmesan chips, eggplant stuffed with smoked mushrooms) that I brought Ahmad back a little later to try one of their signature dishes, the camel burger!! Q is also the only place in Jordan, I was told, that serves camel. Again, it sounds like a tourist trap but after rave reviews from my friend Ahmad tried it and he thoroughly enjoyed it. Being vegetarian, I stuck to the spinach dip (an enormous portion) and fresh juice.
After my third visit, I decided I HAD to take some pictures and write a little about the place because I truly believe it’s an underrated little gem in Amman. Though a little more on the pricey side, it’s not ridiculously expensive (like Primal in Abdoun) and the service and food really is excellent. In fact, I may go so far as to say that it has among some of the best food I have had in Jordan so far.
I haven’t yet visited to take advantage of the books and the ability to read while enjoying a snack or drink, but I definitely plan on it. I’m not so ambitious to think that I can complete the challenge they have at the entrance though: read an entire book in one sitting and get your meal free!