Tuesday, 28th October 2014
I arrived at Damascena on a Friday just after the lunch rush and sat with owners Muhammad Meki and Hamza Zein. It’s been a good first month for Damascena and the two men behind it were keen to show me why by bringing out a great selection of food and drink to sample.
When they saw the unit they knew they’d found something really special in the heart of Moseley. Muhammad and Hamza know the village very well. They are family friends who have called Moseley home for years. Muhammad said: “The locals have a real passion for the village”. Hamza added: “This is the best place in Birmingham”. In their opinion Moseley was the obvious place to open Damascena.
We now have a great collection of coffee shops in Moseley. Muhammad tells me relationships between them are good because they all do their own thing. This is true. Our village has businesses that seem to compliment each other rather than compete.
Damascena offers something new. Customers have been interested in the food and the people that work there. Muhammad and Hamza were worried about introducing unfamiliar dishes but the people of Moseley have taken to it. They serve food from the Levant region which, I learn, includes Syria, Lebanon, Palestine among others. This is their food, Hamza is originally from Syria and Muhammad from Iraq, and it is great. The savoury options are freshly baked in house and taste incredible. The sweet pastries, baked by a family friend, are sweet and light. The food is fresh there’s lots of vegetarian options. I hadn’t appreciated how many veggie options there are in Arabic food. Muhammad explains that they want to share more dishes, and more vegetarian meals, with us so I for one look forwards to trying something new on each visit.
The opening hours are nine to nine each day means we have alternative place to meet friends and sit out on these lovely summer evenings. So good luck to Damascena and I hope you enjoy your visit.
Follow them on twitter on @Damascena_UK or find them on Facebook.