A new Venezuelan, family-owned restaurant is now in Haddon Township. Que Ricas – which means “how delicious” in Spanish – occupies the former spot of candy shop Rocket Fizz. The cozy spot is co-owned by both chef Sahar Soleymani and her father, Dar Soleymani. Sahar has also been living in Haddon Township for about five years.
“I wanted to bring my town some variety in its cuisine,” she says. “There is nothing like Que Ricas nearby.” Open since December, the 16-seat location offers a breezy and tropical vibe.
All About Family
As for Sahar, she’s been cooking since an early age, learning traditional and family recipes from her mother. In fact, much of her life evokes the pride and tradition that comes with preparing food of her Venezuelan heritage. Besides cooking at home, she also cooked at her parents’ restaurants growing up. (Her father has operated nearly 40 bars, nightclubs, and restaurants in his 40+ years in the business.)
Sahar raves about working with her father. “We make a great team,” she says. “He really has so much knowledge and experience under his belt. I’m blessed to have his help.”
Que Ricas presents Sahar with the chance to cook her family’s recipes for the first time in South Jersey. She says cooking these dishes helps bring people together and spark joy. “Nothing makes me happier and makes me feel more connected to others than bringing people together over these traditional meals,” she says. “It’s so important that I continue to cook these recipes and share a piece of myself in this way.”
Just How Delicious is The Food?
If you are a fan of Venezuelan food, then you might be able to guess some of the menu items. Sahar says empanadas (which are naturally gluten free) are a signature item at Que Ricas. Her favorite style is Besitos, which are filled with guava and mozzarella.
She also loves the Rica Arepa stuffed with shredded beef, black beans, sweet plantains, and cotija cheese. Of course, Arepas are a staple of Venezuelan cuisine; made daily by hand using just three ingredients (before adding the filling), these corn arepas are gluten-free.
Vegans are also in luck as Que Ricas features two vegan arepas, a vegan empanada, and homemade churros. You can even order the latter with vegan maple glaze for dipping.
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