Written by on April 22, 2011 in I Eat Haifa, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

(No website found at time of publishing) – “Our restaurant is located beneath the Carmel Mountain, along the sea shore“.

How I heard of this place: My nephew and brother-in-law’s hair dresser, Walid, recommended a place on the Haifa shore, called Maxim, as his favorite Arab cuisine in town. When we were making plans to go out for lunch, my sister invited her friend Resa (and her family) to join us. Resa recommended Samiramis as having great food and great ambiance, rather than the fast food feel of Maxim. So, we tried it. And we liked it.

Type of cuisine: Everything from hummus and salads to baked potatoes and pastries, pasta, sweetbreads, steak, chicken cordon bleu and a variety of beverages, every patron will find something appetizing on this menu. Even the children have their selection of schnitzel, schwarma and beef or chicken shashlik.

Ambiance: Loud and bustling with families and lots of beautifully presented foods inside, the gas station outside seems out of place. But driving up to Samiramis it is no wonder first-timers have dazed looks of confusion and curiosity. The strip mall behind the gas pumps and parked cars host at least two eateries, including Aroma and Samiramis. The floor-to-ceiling windows allowed for us to find our party, waving at us from inside, before entering the glass-doors and making our way around to where we were to be seated. Indoors, without looking out onto the gas station, one would never guess she was in a strip mall, where people are fueling their tanks just meters away. The dark wooden tables, blacks, deep reds and browns in chairs and at the booth seating that lines the wall creates a sense of comfort, home and a warm welcome. Staff are friendly as they rush back and forth to ensure no one has an empty dish on the table, which constantly replenishing plates of salads and breads. Patrons squeeze in to find seating near friends and family, while children run amok through the small space between seats and underneath the tables.  “In our restaurant, there is a rich strict menu, elegant design and romantic atmosphere. International standards are applied in Semeramis. Semeramis is a Prestigious restaurant that offers equal prices for all. The Smell of the cooking and the preparation of the dishes are all done in front of our clients. Together with the charming atmosphere, we turn a romantic experience into a perfect one.

What I ordered: We had five adults, one child that eats like an adult, another child that only eats sweet fruit snacks and vitamins, and two babies in the midst of this bustling atmosphere. Among us we ordered salads (30NIS each) for all (six of us) and two entrees. The entrees ordered were the same: Veal Shawarma (55NIS per plate; bringing the cost of the salads for two of us to 25NIS each). The shawarma consisted of thinly sliced beef, abundantly seasoned with cinnamon and sprinkled atop with fresh parsely. Each shawarma was served with two additional plates of salad: one with sliced tomatoes and thinly sliced onions topped with somaq, and another of pickled cauliflower and carrots in turmeric (or saffron) to give a yellowed look. One can hardly keep track of the salads, varying in type and kind with each season and visit! On this occasion, we had hummus on a plate, shaped into a shallow bowl to hold the olive oil and garbanzo beans, dusted with fresh chopped parsley. Other salads included a corn and scallion salad, cooked carrots with seasoning, cooked zucchini with a slightly spicy tinge, diced beets, a spicy Turkish salsa, tuna salad with corn, onions, green capsicum and pickles, potato salad with carrots and parsley, pickled eggplant mash with red and yellow capsicum, pasta salad in a light vinaigrette with jalapeno slices, cooked cauliflower in a tahini sauce, tahini with fresh parsley, well-herbed tabouli in a lemon vinaigrette, a diced tomato & cucumber salad with herbs and a wedge of lemon, and a cole-slaw with cabbage, capsicum in all colors and dill in a vinegar-based dressing. Baskets of large, round bread (similar to Indian-style naan) continued to make their way to our tables and onto our plates, as did the small wedges of grilled pita doused in an olive oil, garlic sauce.

What I loved: My sister and I were both big fans of the tuna salad, giving substance to the idea of mini salads for lunch. At the beginning, my favorite was the cauliflower in tahini sauce, the zucchini and the corn salads, but as I continued to eat, each salad would take the place of favorite with each bite.

Why I loved it: I love the endless supply of salads that come presented on small plates, like tapas, and fill you up without question!

Cost: Low (25NIS per person for endless salads, with an entree, 30NIS per person for endless salads without an entree)

Be Sociable, Share!


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *