Zaatar W Zeit Amman

Zaatar W Zeit is a restaurant that’s been around since 1999 in Beirut, and over the years has franchised to include Dubai, Kuwait and more recently, Amman. I’ve wanted to try the place out for the longest time now and tonight I finally got the chance. It’s been getting a lot of positive reviews and after spending 15 minutes in a car with friends trying to figure out where to go to have a light dinner and watch a football match, we suddenly remembered the place. Suffice to say that this place is a very Ammani-Winter kind of place. At the heart of the menu are fresh out-of-the-oven Arabian mana2eesh. They come in different shapes, sizes and contents. It’s a rather diverse menu that also includes Arabian household staples like labaneh (yogurt), bayd (eggs) and zaitoon (olives).

What makes Zaatar W Zeit unique is the fact that the place is very cool. There’s a lot of fairly simple and interesting artsy eye-candy all around that make the place very fun to eat in. From the art on the walls to the menu and placemats. It’s not complicated like the memorabilia of TGIF’s and Hard Rock Cafe, but simple enough to not strain the eyes while keeping you entertained. Everything is written in Arabish, which I think is a new and daring thing in the restaurant business. The placemats have a bunch of mind games to keep you busy while the food is prepared.

The service is excellent. They’re quick, friendly and courteous. The food is well prepared and pretty delicious although I wasn’t very hungry to begin with. It’s a nice place to come with a large group of friends and order a variety of dishes. It’s also (relatively) reasonably priced. The average price being around 2.5JDs with the larger dishes, such as a pizza, about 3.85JDs.

The reason for this review is the fact that I really loved the place, and it seems like a nice place to have some good food in a cool atmosphere, especially during the winter time. And an added plus is the fact that it’s open 24/7, which is great for drug-induced munchies at 3am. Not that I would know anything about that.


  • the guys are amazing, lebanese people are just awesome πŸ™‚ I gave them instructions and all where-to-go info when they first came here in july I guess (not sure, but I went there on the first day when they opened in citymall)

  • did you get a permission from ROba before writing this review? you dont think that you can simply jump in and start making reviews do you?:P

    ok, i admit i have been wanting to try it since ever too, everytime i go to bel mondo, their next door neighbors.

    so what do you think?:) dinner next weekend?:D

  • I like the place, but i think it is a bit over-priced. beside, the using arabish is a negativity for me and it is for sure not cool at all, if you are using your language words then use its letters; common sense. i actually belive that using arabis in public and formal document should not be legal and must be prevented.

    o Sa7tain πŸ˜€

  • UmmFarouq: its on mecca street…just past the mecca/medina circle that has BK on it…up towards rabya on your right…next to bel mondo and across from the talal abu ghazaleh business college. Thanks for the hat tip, much obliged!

    Layla: overpriced? really? i thought given the atmosphere and the quality of food and service, the prices were more than reasonable. lol @ arabish commentary…there is a cultural downside to it…but i have to admit, it’s kind of neat.

  • Layla,
    I agree with you on the fact that arabic language should be protected, prevention is never a cure for anything though.. We should look in reasons why arabic became virtually a second language, arabesi is just a sign of identity crisis.

  • “ItÒ€ℒs also reasonably priced. The average price being around 2.5JDs with the larger dishes

    I remember back at school we used to eat mana2eesh for 15 piasters a piece and trust me if you ate 2 of these mana2eesh bel forsa i’m pretty sure that most people would skip their Lunch after that!! and that was only 7 or 8 years ago!
    The thing that amuses that we are dealing with these prices as if they are reaonable,
    i went to zaatar and zeit during it’s soft opening and my friend is one of the managers there yeah it is really tasteful, delecious and everything but when i looked at the prices i was shocked, later i asked my friend about the prices and how does the management gonna deal with these high prices regarding that jordanians you are not in an ideal economical status.
    He told me Ammar ï7na mish mla72een 3al nas!!
    According to Salameh darawi the economical editor in al arab al yawm newspaper 85% of the employed jordanians earn 300jds /month or less!!
    So my question is how can we afford to eat mana2eesh these days ans isn’t it a disaster to eat mana2eesh for 2.5jds

  • Ammar: you are right to an extent. but do not forget that the market for such businesses and restaurants has become larger. that market has people earning much more than before. and these people are not millionaires or come from wealthy families. their starting salaries have increased over a decade.

    also, these are not simple mana2eesh, ya3ni lets be fair. it is an actual dish and it is considered casual dining. in other words, you’re not eating there every night, but rather once in a while. if a dish runs you 2.5 jds, it is around the price of a fast food meal at joints like mcdonalds and BK, if not cheaper. and when it comes to restaurants in amman, those joints are the cheapest right after the humous, falafal, shawarmeh category.

    any where else, casual dining in amman will cost you at least 7 jds.

    this place in particular is far from the category of the majority of restaurants, whose prices are currently through the roof. lebnani snack, which 7-8 years ago, one of the most popular cheap sandwich joints, now sells at nearly double. their zinger sandwich is around 2.5 while the original one at KFC is 2.75

    so everything is relative, would be my point πŸ™‚

  • The owner is related, so we ate there several times. It’s open 24 hours, but I can’t wait for them to start a delivery service, I’m too lazy to go to Mecca Street !

    I like their Turkey melt, and the chocolate with banana is really good too.

  • Ok this is so harsh: drug-induced munchies, I’m hurt

    Reading Ammar’s reply made me feel really guilty. JD300? Punks (ok chicks) working at Zara for example earn about 380! Engineers earn like 450-650 which is a joke.
    Ammar, of course they’ll sell, if you do the math you’ll find that at least 100,000 people could afford Zeit and Zataar and find it relatively cheap, actually it’s very cheap compared to other joints of this kind. It’s all relative.
    But here is how you could look at it: instead of getting the JD2.5 Mana’eesh, buy the JD0.5 Man’oosh and give the JD2 to a poor family, if people would just think this way.

  • firas you’re right about selling and it’s selling good actually, you can notice that by the number of people that are coming especially on friday morning!!
    about you being surprised about the 300jd wages or income, I’m pretty sure thats true
    i used to work in jordan as a medical rep in a prestegious multinational company!!!
    guess what was my basic salary??!
    450 thats before the taxes and “Daman”and other stuff let’s say maybe im a little bit ambitous and want to find a nice girl and get married!!! maybe live in an apartment or any S**t hole in i can afford in Amman what about having some kids later (ok maybe im getting too ambitous here)
    what about the bills, the petrol, Food ……………
    or maybe i should get back on my feet and spend my salary on Argeeleh and eating mana2eesh for 3jds with the guys like i used to do!!!

  • I haven’t been yet, but might after this review, as long as there is a non-smoking section…

    About the Arabish, I think it is relative to West Amman. That is what you hear spoken in this area. I happen to speak native English, and if I am out talking to my kids, people will hear me and start speaking English to their kids or friends just to show off. I could care less if they speak English, but they want to show me they can. I would say that the trend is much less than I remember in Egypt, where I found the upper classes almost never speaking Arabic, almost always speaking fluent French and English. I am glad that most Ammanites still prefer their own language.

    While we are on that topic, why don’t we all speak Fusha (classical Arabic) and give ourselves all a break! Arab Children go to school here and are forced to learn a new language right away! Classical Arabic! That is something to think about.

  • Um Omar,
    No smoking free section, I am not sure of an exact ratio but I would go with an 80% Jordanians are smokers, myself included. Many businesses think they should be practical rather than healthy.

    Classic Arabic idea is great yet it will highly affect each city in the arab world identity. Atleast we can skim the non arabic words to standardize the language again. But special worlds that you hear identifies regions across the board, like saying thats algerian, egyptian, lebanese, iraqi, or yemeni. It remains to be culture enrichment variety.

  • Layla and Ammar,
    I do not see the issue here! If you think that it is too expensive just eat somewhere else!! I mean come on, for the quality of the food I can safely say that I have NEVER tried anything as tasty as their sajs! I came to Amman for 3 weeks in summer and was eating there every day. Not only did they get their decor right as Nas pointed out but also their service (which is rarely the case in Jordan) and the food is superb! So no harm in complaining just for the sake of it but please give it a rest! I am sure that each of you has a car and pays a sum of money every month for petrol, well the person who is living on 300 JDs a month cant afford that either, neither can he/she afford going on holidays, which I am sure you do as well. Why don’t you attack places like Rhen Chi (or whatever) where dinner for two comes up to 150 JDs!
    Long Live Zaatar O Zeit!!!!

  • I guess i wasn’t clear from the beginning, what i meant to say is not to comment on the place particularly but i wanted to point or share the idea of how prices have risen in Amman so much during the last period and how the salaries and the wages of the people didnt at all!
    I mean if we reached the point where going for a place to eat mana2eesh in jordan is considered a luxury these days and should be limited to a certain class in jordan!!! that means we in in a really funny and pathetic situatiuon here,
    And if all of us have the luxury of cars and broadband internet connections and going to eat mana2eesh (which turns out to be a luxury in amman these days) thats not the situation of the majority of people in jordan!!
    thats what i meant to say from the beginning!!
    and sorry for any missunderstanding!!

  • Ammar,

    No need to over dramatise the situation. There are Mana2eesh places that sell the ma2oosheh for 30p so it isn’t the case that ” Going for a place to eat mana2eesh in jordan is considered a luxury these days and should be limited to a certain class in jordan!!!” it just so happens that Zaatar O Zait is a Franchise and therefore, is not the “typical” Mana2eesh place in Jordan!

  • I think we have to keep in mind that prices have increased overall. Inflation has infected everything. Even your everyday shawarmah is no longer 30 piasters with the average price now being around 70 piasters and some common everyday places selling a single sandwich for 1jd.

    As for the 30piaster mana2eesh, they still sell those in a lot of places, including high end markets like careffour and safeway. however what is served at zaatar w zeit is more along the lines of a saj, and it’s pretty much a meal as opposed to an appetizer. so i have to agree with sana, the place is not the “typical” mana2eesh place in jordan. It’s also a restaurant as opposed to an oven where everything is to-go.

  • am 100% with what sana said . the quality of food, the tastinees ,the service and the prices simpley I LOVE THIS PLACE.


  • Oh, i didnt know that my price comment will turn this into a discussion and brings on supporters and zait o za3ter ppl. πŸ˜€

    For me, those Saj and Manaqeesh are local productions and they are available almost everywhere and with much lower prices and some taste better .. so the fact that the place vision aims to provide them in a stylish modern place should not really affect the food it self price ( or thats how i see it from a personal-marketing perspective) others might see it very reasonable to pay a bit more in return to other services; place and atmosphere that comes with it. for me, mana2eesh za3tar o jebeneh are so good and will make my day greater while eating them in the street or in 5 stars hotel, actually the fancier the place the less excited i become .. πŸ˜€

    For the arabish, ya 3ami .. rasmyean lazem yenmane3 o yenla2aa 7al la hal mawdoo3.

  • Concerning the price I have just read that our new Minister promised to raise the income.
    guess we all can eat from Zaatar wo Zeit.

    by the way its only one thing that annoys me in this place…why is it called Zaatar wo Zeit when i got used to say it Zeit wo Zaatar all my life. really annoying. if I go to this resturant frequently i think i will have “broken mouse problem” again in my life. its too disturbing by the way,,, dont try it. What is this problem?

    well once my mouse’s left-click got broken, so because i uses (need) it much more frequently than the right-click, I exchanged their functionalities. this made me click the right click in my room and the left click in my work …the first couple of days went fine (dont know why) but three days after I got completely confused. it may not sound as scary as it was by the way, but believe me it made me too confused that week… it was a horrible week. I even thought i will never get used to the mouse again…and the mouse is too important in my life. in that scary week i used to need some seconds before i click the mouse because i had to think if im in my room or in my work office and then decide which click to click. i know it sounds silly. but it is not.
    imagine that the functionalities of your senses were changed, you hear from your eyes and c from your nose….thats scary…
    anyway this zaatar and zeit thing can not have (hopefully) any harm unlike the “broken mouse problem”…maybe its just me who hates to change what i get used to.

  • Ammar,

    Ok there is some misunderstanding. Poverty line is drawn at JD550/month per total (gross) income of a family , I thought that the JD300 you mentioned was the gross income, so basically 85% are under poverty. This is what I thought then, and sorry for this.

    You are right about you forgetting about marriage and just spend the night wandering with your homies eating at Zeit and Za’atar.

    Well, this is what driving many young people to leave the country

  • jad 7elo Zaatar o Zait !! I Like the Branch at the city Mall , but i prefer The Branch next to Bel Mondo:p , i think it’s over-priced , ya3ni actually baroo7 3aleih once in a month!!
    In My Opinion Starbucks a7la , branch abdoun o city mall o mecca mall o Seventh Circle ya3ni amazing:p!

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