A Taste of Syria

Everyone recently has been touched by the humanitarian crisis in Syria. Many people have shown their generosity by donating clothing, food and money to help, and Birmingham is no exception.

My good friend Ahmed at Dine Birmingham has created a charity Syrian supper club, serving an authentic Middle Eastern banquet, as his way of helping.

A special dinner event will introduce Birmingham’s food lovers to the cuisine of Syria, with all profits donated to Oxfam’s Syrian refugee appeal.

‘ATaste of Syria’ banquet will be hosted on 3 November at Syriana, an independent Middle Eastern restaurant on Constitution Hill by Birmingham city centre.

Organised by local food and drink guide Dine Birmingham, the event will be an upmarket dining experience, featuring live entertainment.

Guests will be treated to a three-course meal, featuring expertly crafted dishes, freshly prepared by a Syrian chef.

Syria has a rich and ancient food culture going back centuries. It borders Lebanon and shares many similarities with Lebanese food.

The meal will begin with an assortment of mezze (starters) including falafel, flame-grilled red peppers, hummus, and fattoush (cucumber and mint salad with toasted bread flakes).

A Taste of Syria Birmingham starters

For mains, there will be a choice of lamb, chicken and vegetarian dishes. Lamb shakreyeh consists of tender meat cooked in yoghurt sauce, while the chicken will be chargrilled and served with baked vegetables and garlic sauce.

A Taste of Syria Birmingham mains

Vegetarians will enjoy a rich sauce of lady’s fingers cooked in tomatoes and olive oil. All dishes will be served alongside seasoned rice and traditional Syrian flatbread.

Dessert comes in the form of assorted baklawa – Arabian pastries made with honey, nuts and pistachio. Alternatively, a seasonal fruit salad will be available.

A Taste of Syria Birmingham baklawa

A live belly-dancing performance will entertain guests, while mellow Middle-Eastern background music will play throughout the evening.

Tickets must be pre-booked and start at £30 per person, to include three courses and a soft drink. A £35 option includes a Lebanese beer or glass of wine.

All profits will be donated to Oxfam’s ongoing Syrian refugee appeal.

Adam Walker, Oxfam Midlands Fundraising Manager, said:

“The war in Syria has been raging for four and a half years now, and over 11 million people have been forced to flee their homes.

“Oxfam has reached over one million people already with desperately needed food, water and shelter. But the scale of this emergency is huge and we still urgently need your help to continue supporting families forced from their homes by conflict.

“We are grateful for fundraising events like this one; the funds will help us to keep providing support for families in need of aid to survive.”

A Taste of Syria takes place on Tuesday 3 November at 7pm and you can book tickets at the Dine Birmingham website.