A taste of Palestine in Dubai

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SimSim showcases cuisine and culture of Palestine in Dubai.

New Levantine restaurant opens at The Walk, JBR.

SimSim - Pic 1

A new Levantine restaurant has opened at The Walk, at Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai. SimSim is the first establishment in Dubai to showcase a wide array of classic dishes and timeless traditions from across the Levant region, with a special emphasis on Palestine.

Managing Director Rula Hamed says the concept of SimSim was developed to fulfil a two-pronged mission.

“The feeling of ‘eating at home’ evokes wide sentiment among expatriates of Levantine descent, when they crave the cooking and the culture of their native lands. Simultaneously, it is our aim to act as an ambassador for Dubai’s many residents and visitors who are yet to discover the simple but sumptuous tastes of Levantine food. We have carefully chosen classic recipes from the Levant countries – Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, and Egypt – and our interiors showcase a range of hand crafted objects that were built to order in the region.

As a Jordanian of Palestinian origin, it is the tastes and treats of my home that are most beloved to me. My restaurant embodies the family meals and the family values I have grown up with, and I am sharing them at SimSim.” — Rula Hamed, Managing Director, SimSim, The Walk, Jumeirah Beach Residence

SimSim is designed to appeal to patrons of all ages and from all walks of life — especially for gatherings of families and friends. The hallmark of the restaurant lies in multiple options to suit every hour, need, style, need and occasion.  Culinary offerings include breakfast, snacks, sweets, beverages, and full meals, while seating at the sprawling 4,200 square feet space is divided between small nooks, large bays and private alcoves — on two levels, as well as outdoors.

Rula Hamed describes the food as genuine Levantine cuisine enlivened with original products and fresh produce, with a tilt towards health-consciousness.

“We serve recipes borrowed from grandmothers in Gaza and Ramallah, and natural ingredients sourced from Nablus, Toulkarem and surrounding villages – it is as authentic as it gets.” Some of SimSim’s most popular dishes are Mansaf, Shakshukat Bandora, Fattet Batinjan bil Lahmeh, Musakhan Dajaj, Fattoush Gazawi, and the traditional sweets – Osmalieh with ice cream, and Tamriyeh.

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SimSim, which means sesame in Arabic, forms the backbone of Levantine cuisine. For thousands of years, dishes have been enhanced with the seed — renowned for its distinct taste and curative properties. Many house specialties feature sesame in some form.

Featuring an eclectic contemporary design, the cool urban space of the restaurant is dotted with warm accents and traditional crafts. The interiors showcase several meticulously handcrafted items from the Levant region including stoneware, glass fixtures, graffiti murals, and collections of wheat raffia, ceramics, preserved foods, and olive trees. The theme of the traditional male Arabic head dress, keffiyeh or hattah is incorporated across paper and fabric.

SimSim is open from 8:30 am until 12:00 midnight on weekdays, and until 1:30 am on weekends and public holidays. The restaurant accepts walk-ins throughout the day, but recommends large groups make prior reservations. Tel: (04) 454 2319.

Home deliveries and catering services to Jumeirah Beach Residence and Dubai Marina have just begun.

SimSim is located at Ground Floor, Sadaf 4, adjoining the Movenpick Jumeirah Beach hotel, JBR.

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