Roman Zaman • A Damascene Experience

Nestled in Mississauga’s downtown core, Roman Zaman is most recognized for its unique ambiance and decor. The restaurant offers one of a kind Damascene cuisine served in captivating copper pots by servers dressed from head to toe in traditional Syrian garb. By utilizing a colourful yet modern Syrian theme, the restaurant is embellished with pomegranates — a fruit they use to distinguish and decorate often. From the walls, to juices, to sprinklings of it on appetizers — the use of pomegranate adds an interesting spin on the restaurant’s ambiance.

Speaking of ambiance, it was obvious that attention to detail was emphasized through beautiful metal light fixtures and printed booth seating. The wood-burning oven, beautiful fountain and distinctive washrooms also spoke volumes about the effort that had been put into Roman Zaman.

To start off, we ordered cold drinks. The restaurant has an appetizing drink menu including, but not limited to, mango juice, watermelon juice and even traditional lemon and mint. We ordered the mango juice and a cocktail — both of which were creatively served in colourful mason jars.

Next we ordered our appetizers. This section of their menu really sets them apart from other restaurants. With their abundant selection, the starters menu includes tantalizing dishes such as yalanji, manakeesh, and a large variety of kibbeh. We would highly recommend their starters — especially over their fries and their rice which seemed pretty average to us.

Another popular starter at Roman Zaman is their palatable hummus — it has a creamier texture than other common varieties. And what would the hummus be without fresh pita bread out of a wood burning oven? Luckily, they offer just that.

Service was excellent as the main course, as well as the other courses, arrived perfectly on time. We had ordered the mixed grill in order to get a small taste of everything. The dish consisted of one skewer of shish tawouk, one skewer of beef and two skewers of kafta. All three proved to be delicious, however the shish tawouk took the top spot. The boneless pieces of chicken were succulent and cooked to perfection. Garlic sauce and tahini were also given for those who prefer to dip as they eat — with no extra cost. As someone who prefers variety in their dining experience, we were quite pleased with the individuality each dish had to offer.

The only downside to the Roman Zaman experience was the wait time and the way the restaurant felt a little crowded. Be aware — they do not take reservations on Friday to Sunday. So if you arrive hungry on a weekend night, it might be better to mentally prepare yourself to wait for 45 minutes to an hour before being seated. Otherwise, the overall experience and food was above average. We highly recommend it to others!

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