As much as it seems like chinese and japanese food are taking over the world’s diet lately, the truth is that there are many other amazing foregin foods out there just waiting to be discovered.
And some of these foods are not only out there but rather right in our own city: that’s the case of Amrit, a syrian food restaurant which we recently found in Gràcia. And we were so mesmerized by how amazing the food was, that we decided to go ahead and ask if we could chat to the owner for a bit.
And we couldn’t be more happy about doing so. Thanks to that we got to meet Hani Sarkis, owner of 7 of these restaurants in Barcelona. As surprising as this may be, Hani first arrived from Syria to Barcelona as an aspiring odontologist – yet the university courses were so expensive that he ended up taking a completely different path: cooking. So even though he didn’t make it to the teeth, he did end up making his way into our mouths and, of course, into our hearts.
Hani told us that he’s incredibly glad he made this decision. While chatting to him, we discovered that one of the things he loves most about the business is actually making syrian cuisine known amongst foreign people, and seeing that people actually appreciate it. Specially because it is wonderful to have a place where we can discover international foods without having to travel all the way to that specific place.
While eating some amazing Baklawa and sipping on our cinnamon tea, we asked him what were the little everyday pleasures that he experiences in his business. “Seeing people enjoy our food” he immediately responded. “When people like our cuisine so much that they dip the bread in the plate and eat every single piece, that always makes us smile”.
And we really understand that, since they make every bit of food themselves; from their salads and dips to their falafels, baklawas and teas. Everyone will probably relate to the gratifying feeling of having people enjoy the food that you’ve put so much effort into. And it is really cool to see people taking their work with so much energy and gratitude for those who appreciate it.
We left the establishment thinking about how enriching has this experience been for us, not only in terms of syrian cuisine – which we had never tried before and we’ll definitely try again – but regarding the fact that you can turn any casual outing around and get to meet incredible people, if you just bother to ask. And even though when we went there we didn’t have our usual beforehand preparation, it all turned out to go pretty great. We certainly learned a lot, and we couldn’t be happier about having decided to go somewhere we’d never gone before.