This post has no pictures. What this post does have is a massive rant.
In a height of massive disappointment I have not felt since a restaurant on the JBR Walk lost my patronage forever by telling my dinner party that the meat in front of us always tasted like the bowels of a salt mine were emptied on them and refused to give us an edible batch… a place in Al Barsha has, for many reasons, dropped me into my mental ‘mines of Moria’.
I recently went to this particular restaurant with the food coming highly recommended. And indeed, some of the people at the table were satisfied with what they got.
Where shall I begin? The service was really sub-standard. One of the diners at the table ordered a meal and ended up getting it one hour later, whereas people who arrived after she did got their order (the same menu item as what the first diner ordered) within 20 minutes. When we asked, we found out they decided (quite arbitrarily) that they’d give the other people their food first.
The food was average at best – one of the starters envisages a succulent meat, rich in its own juices. Yet there I was, slathering on as much sauce as I could just to get the dryness out of the way. The mains were uninspiring to say the least, and just not good enough (my friend wailed: “how can anyone mess up duck?” Okay a “wail” doesn’t sound manly, but if he was female, it would’ve been a wail. Or that’s how I’m imagining it).
Another main was a popular dish that many restaurants in Dubai serve, but so few do it well. This wasn’t one of the few.
I left the restaurant feeling like I’d eaten food yes, but far from happy-full.
And then there was the cockroach.
I’d finished my meal and was waiting for my bill. A fellow diner was about to dunk her meat in the sauce bowl when she stopped and said: “IS THAT A COCKROACH?”
I pushed my chair back as far as it could go and silently squealed. Or maybe it was out loud. I don’t know. My brain stops working when there are insects around, and much more when they’re partaking in a meal I paid for.
Sure enough, there was a tiny little creepy-crawly, slightly bigger than my fingernail, chilling on the dipping sauce bowl.
Clearly the way to go forward was to complain to the management, yes?
I was, in my defence, busy squealing (oh you should see me when bigger things approach; I get worse). And then someone either killed it or threw it off the table, while I was too busy looking everywhere for some staff to call over, so we had nothing to show the management.
So I left the restaurant with food in my belly, but completely unsated, and with the disgusting feeling of what-if-my-food-touched-that-little-insect.
There was one saving grace…the night before this painful dining experience I had ordered a batch of Yasmin Mebar’s (of Red Panda Bakes fame) delicious chocolate brownies for a birthday. I popped a few left-over pieces in my mouth after the disappointing meal…and boy, did they feel good.
Okay so I lied, there’s clearly a picture (albeit an awful, blurry one; in my defence I forgot my camera and snapped one with my phone). But not of the food – of the brownie goodness.
PS – I won’t confirm or deny on this public post which restaurant it was.