Restaurant disappointment thwarted by Red Panda Brownies.

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.

Not me.

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?

Yeah. That.

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.

Nice move.

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.


10 thoughts on “Restaurant disappointment thwarted by Red Panda Brownies.

  1. I am currently in Hong Kong and will return to Dubai on Friday, 12th May 2012. While I am away I will have access to emails but please bear with the 4 hour time difference. For any urgent matters, please contact my business partner, Louise Mezzina who will be happy to help. Apologies for any inconvenience. Kind regards. Tara

  2. Cockroach flavoured dipping sauce. Nice.

  3. Hellow! Whats the point! Name and shame. You mention the name of a restaurant when you like it.. dont you?

  4. I have ordered in and eaten in at the not-to-be-mentioned restaurant a number of times but they quality of food and the service was never this atrocious. I believe they can’t handle serving a party of 12 people. I suppose I shall not be ordering in anymore. I have also once met the owner/manager and it appears the management has changed hands since.Anyhow, seeing that I was the person who got a roach wtih her meal, i deserve some of them brownies. but i’m sure u’ve stuffed all of them in your face already. boo! :(P.S.: Begging for brownies is the only reason I put up this commentP.P.S: I’ve never heard somebody wail in crisp, male, received pronounciation before. How does it sound? :p

  5. Devina Divecha May 9, 2012 — 16:45

    Sarah – Exactly what a colleague of mine said when I showed this post to him!Harsha – The point is, after Benihana some of us food bloggers are being careful with what we say and what we post, and without any proof (I don’t even have a pic of the insect for example), I am not prepared to even deal with a possibility of something going wrong. When I mention a restaurant I like and why, I don’t have to worry about getting sued.

  6. Devina Divecha May 9, 2012 — 16:47

    Wajiha – Yeah things like bad service and insect issues definitely put you off the food. And haha yes the brownies are long gone. Scoffed down. Happily. Next time we’ll get a batch just for us okay?What’s received pronunciation? 😛 Haha, it sounds awesome 😉

  7. Frankly, if you don’t name the restaurant, you’re wasting your readers’ time.Can’t you give hints as to which it is, so we can guess, but you haven’t actually named it?

  8. Received Pronunciation is something one might hear coming out of the mouth of someone educated at cambridge for eight years e.g. :P

  9. Re the brownies – do they have nuts in them? Also do you have a contact number so we can order to try as well please..

  10. Devina Divecha June 16, 2012 — 11:08

    Hi Sharon – no the brownies didn’t have nuts in them as far as I could tell. Yasmin does bake to order though, so you can specify what you want and don’t want. Here’s the link with all her contact details:!

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