Shisha-warma : Lebanese Restaurant Review

Located at Borrowdale Village Walk Shopping Centre, this snug restaurant is a destination suitable for when you want to sample a foreign cuisine.

This is the first time I’d come across a restaurant that also offers shisha but you won’t have to worry about sitting next to a table of loud semi-high teenagers. The audience that frequents Shisha-warma is mostly sober young adults and middle-aged folks.

The restaurant gets its name from it’s two main menu favourites: shawarma & shisha. By the way, shisha is a pipe for smoking flavoured tobacco, which passes the smoke through water. Yes, it’s as fun as it sounds.

We visited the summery Shisha-warma on a Sunday, a bit after noon. It’s hard not to notice the chic earthy brown wallpaper first as you walk in. It perfectly complements the general Asian ambiance of the restaurant and makes you feel like you’re taking a sneak peek into the cuisine of Beirut. Do call first to book if you’re planning on visiting as a large group because it’s a compact space, and they’ll need to prepare a larger table for you.

The next thing you’ll notice are either the warm smile and gentle welcoming nod from Chef Rahem or any one of the staff. We wanted to taste a little bit of everything so Theo suggested the Shawarma platter, grill platter, and half chicken. Sounds like a lot and IT IS. None of us expected them to be as generous as they were with the potions. We started the meal off with…well, everything. We didn’t have to wait too long for the meal, which was great because we were H.U.N.G.R.Y.

Another pretty neat feature that comes with this restaurant (if you choose indoor seating) is that you get to see your food as it is being prepared. Chef Rahem took this opportunity to show off some of his artful expertise. This is a clever distraction whilst they bring your food.

We tasted the fries first with no disappointment. They were just the right amount of crunchy at the ends and a pleasant soft in the middle. With the seasoning, a mix of slightly spicy and salty french, those were gobbled up faster than the rest of the meal. The next muse was the juicy beef surrounded by an unrecognizable green veggie and lots of onions. The onions were a bit too much which made it unpleasant. The beef, however, tasted surreal. It was juicy lean, seasoned with Lebanese spices, further giving it a ‘fresh’ sour taste.

There was a bit of sausage and chicken tawuq skewwers in one platter which was satisfying both to look at and to indulge. These were laid on top of the green veggie and thinly chopped onion (too much of it still) alongside ripe tomato plus moist dilly pickles.

Another platter had highly flavorful grilled chicken sitting on top of the veggies and onions, pickles on the side coupled by yummy fries with the raw tomatoes to complete the dish. At this point in the review, I’m considering that these onions are likely for adding flavor together with preserving smack.

The final platter (shawarma platter) had shredded beef, shredded chicken with pickles, tomatoes, and the veggie-onion combo. This was a delightful one because it brought with it an assortment of taste. This comes with soft layered chapatis, which were pretty easy to stuff and roll after. Dips didn’t come in short supply, from the cream garlic dip to the ghanoush.

As you may have already noticed, our table was full and it was difficult to find space for our beverages on the table. We opted for regular soft drinks because most of the beverages on their menu aren’t yet available.

A huge reminder to book prior if you’re coming as a group. My friends and I had prebooked, but it also really is a tiny restaurant. Relaxing but tiny.

Our bill totalled to $35USD OR $3500ZWD, which is fair for the 4 people and the amounts of food we got. We were filled to the brim and found that we had to use the public toilet which is a distance from the restaurant. This is a downer if you’ve come with kids and can’t leave them alone. Best to go do your business before or hold it for home if you won’t take the risk!

The shisha was amazing. A perfect way to let an amazing meal sit properly. Great opportunity for intimate conversation or getting to know your date better if you’re visiting with a partner. Music isn’t too loud, which helps if you’re fixed on having an actual chat with your mates. Playlist is a fuse of upbeat and hip songs which gives the restaurant an extra trendy ambiance.

It isn’t completely disabled-friendly but one can always opt for the outside seating area. The waitresses are responsive and will collect your order and bring the bill to you.

Overall, this was a good experience. Much different from the restaurants that surround it. It’s right next to pizza inn, opposite Pick n’ Pay supermarket in case you miss it.


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