Dalidaby Lily Davey-Gurion | 26.03.18
In the heart of Levinsky Market lies Dalida, an unexpected gem on a quiet dimly lit street. Upon entering, you instantly get swept into the bustling market-like atmosphere and are greeted with a warm friendly welcome. Dalida is characterised as a “European Hamara”, a Hamara being an Arabic word describing a small local place of gathering, typically cramped and simple in its nature, where regulars assemble to drink and play cards. So what could possibly be a European Hamara? Over the past five years, Chef Dan Zoaretz has created and developed a menu that combines Middle Eastern and European flavours and culture. The dishes he constructs are largely based on the Arabic kitchen but unlike any other restaurant, Zoaretz manages to elegantly incorporate European influences by adding an Italian touch or a French twist to each plate served. The menu offers imaginative dishes such as lamb hearts delicately placed on curry tzatziki beside lamb fat financier, where each mouthful delivers a burst of contrasting flavours. The ricotta tortellini is served with fresh shiitake, sage chips and kale, drizzled with zesty lemongrass-tomato butter. Not to mention the brioche steak – a one of a kind dish served alongside bone marrow on a bed of jerusalem artichoke cream and earthy chestnuts.
This rare fusion of East meets West is simultaneously reflected in the design of the space – the interior is decorated with vintage ornaments, exotic vegetation, and ambient candle lit corners. Tucked away at the back lies a cosy cobbled-floor courtyard providing an oasis amidst the lively core of the restaurant. Above all, the place is brought alive by the cheerful energy of the waiting staff who aim to provide the diners with an unforgettable experience as they tend to each table and generously make sure the drinks are flowing to the sound of upbeat Mediterranean music.
Dalida is a perfect spot for couples seeking a charmingly romantic evening or for large groups eager to share an experience and taste an array of dishes where the “Moabat” sharing menu is the ideal option. Whatever you do, don’t miss out on the spicy feta brûlée, a must-have signature dish!
Photos by Anatoly Michaello