Growing up in Sydney, a trip to Granville with my Teta and Mum was a fortnightly must. It always fascinated me that I could experience the Arab world in a suburb only half an hour from my house. After hours of being lugged around Arabic grocery stores and the ‘quick’ trip to the Arab butcher, I was always promised a hot Mana’ish (or Zatar bread) at the end of it all. The sour oregano mixture on top of hot puffed flat bread never failed to re-ignite my happy childish self after a long day of grocery shopping. So when I came across Mana’ish on a long narrow street of the old city of Jerusalem, memories of my childhood trips to Granville returned and an instant feeling of warmth came over my winter-struck body.
Lugging our colossal luggage bags down the cracked and jagged streets of The Old City has to be one of the most exhausting arrivals that I have yet experienced. But once checked into our hotel food was on my mind. Gushing into the first half-descent restaurant found, we demanded the most popular item on the menu. And out it came. Or should I say out they came; mountains of flat bread, freshly pickled olives, chillies and gherkins, shredded red and green cabbage, tomato and chilli salsa, tahini salad. And that was just the starter.