Food & dining

Kareem’s Syrian fare, now updated, returns to Watertown on weekends

Royal beets hummus is a new dish at Kareem’s Restaurant in Watertown, reopened by chef Ahmad Yasin in the fall 12 years after he closed it to focus on cooking classes and catering.

John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Royal beets hummus is a new dish at Kareem’s Restaurant in Watertown, reopened by chef Ahmad Yasin in the fall 12 years after he closed it to focus on cooking classes and catering.

John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Chef Ahmad Yasin.

We love when good things return to a neighborhood. Last fall, 12 years after closing his Syrian restaurant to focus on catering and cooking classes, chef Ahmad Yasin reopened Kareem’s Restaurant, much to the delight of Watertown diners, in his catering space. Weekends only, Yasin serves lunch and dinner in a cozy 16-seat space, featuring his updated versions of some classics. A new dish, royal beets hummus ($9), colors the popular chickpea spread with a deep raspberry pink. Kibbeh, traditionally meat kneaded with fine-grained bulgur wheat, is offered three ways: fragrant lamb kibbeh ($22); a vegetarian version ($18) with sauteed red peppers, pine nuts, and olive oil; and smoked salmon kibbeh ($15), a cold appetizer shaped into a dainty timbale, garnished with a rosette of the cured fish. All entrees come with a lemony fatoosh salad, green olives, warm pita bread, and homemade yogurt studded with diced fennel. Kanafa ($5), sweet white cheese baked between layers of shredded phyllo and drizzled with orange flower syrup, is a warm and comforting ending to this brightly flavored fare. Kareem’s Restaurant, 99 Common St., Watertown, 617-393-1880, www.kareems
restaurant.com.
ELLEN BHANG

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