I often joke that I’m too spoiled for choice in Birmingham for food. When you spend a lot of time with food bloggers, they’re always telling you about somewhere to try, and between your own invites, recommendations from other bloggers, and general eateries you’ve heard good things about, your list of places to try gets ludicrous. Because of this, I’ve also joked that if I actually make it to the same place more than once, I must really like it.
Damascena Coffee House, on Temple Row, is obviously my new favourite place, because Dave and I visited twice in the last fortnight. The first visit was an impromptu, as it’s actually right by our bus stop. I didn’t have the camera, but we loved it, so we knew we had to go back.
On our second visit, I went for the Chocolate Chai Latte. On our previous visit, I’d had the Vanilla version, which I adored. Aromatic, creamy and comforting. The chocolate version wasn’t quite as good, but still delicious, like a good hot chocolate. They have impressive lists of chai lattes, teas, juices, coffees, hot chocolates, milkshakes…I need to try them all I think.
Dave’s Vanilla Milkshake was made with proper icecream, which is my favourite kind of ‘shake. Dave isn’t a coffee drinker, so we’re always impressed by ‘coffee’ places that offer alternatives that are as good as their coffee options. Damascena definitely does this.
Because we’re predictable, we actually ordered the same thing, so I’ll let you know what we ate last time too, even though I don’t have pictures of them. We each ordered the Lamb Shawarma, with a side of Vine Leaves to share. The Shawarma is marinated lamb strips, garlic dressing and gerkins in a wrap. Make sure you have a stack of napkins handy for this one, as there is a lot of dressing in there and the meat is so succulent, you are going to get messy. It is absolutely delicious though, and there is so much flavour in the meat. The side salad of olives and a mix of pickled…somethings…cuts through what could be a heavy flatbread and creamy dressing, bringing some tanginess. We both devoured these and loved them.
The vine leaves are stuffed with rice and herbs. The leaves are tangy, with loads of filling inside. Like everything else at Damascena, there is a lot of flavour here. I would definitely recommend getting these to share as a side between two of you, as I think eating four of these alone would be too much, as the flavour is a strong one.
We’ve also tried the Halloumi Wrap, and the Tahini Kofta, and we were equally impressed by both of those. The cafe itself is gorgeous inside, with the decor reflecting the menu, which is influenced by the city of Damascus. They pride themselves on offering food that is healthy, freshly prepared and delicious, with lots of vegetarian options.
We’re hooked. We’ll be back.
Whenever we’ve visited, we’ve paid full price ourselves. Damascena don’t know I was a blogger.