Today I had a lovely Christmas lunch out. Maroush is a chain of lebanese restaurants in central London. This is their web site: http://www.maroush.com/pages/home.htm
To start we shared houmous, tabbouleh, a pastry filled with vegetables and an aubergine salad. The houmous was smooth and silky, the aubergine salad smoky yet fresh, and the tabbouleh bright green and crunchy, and acidic. It was truly delicious.
For the main course, we ordered chicken shwarma, prawn kebab, green salad with sumac - in the salad was lettuce, tomatoes, onion and red pepper. The salad was vibrant, cruncy and tasty. We also enjoyed yoghurt and lebanese flat bread.
This was all 'washed down' with a nice bottle of red, and a bottle of water. We had filter coffee and my friend had mint tea to finish. The mint tea was delicious. We were offered a complimentary fruit basket which was very nice, so I had a couple of slices of the sweetest pineapple before the coffee arrived. Also, on the fruit basket were bananas, pears and plums. So, we didn't need any additional desert, although I'll bet the baklava was delicious.
We were at the branch in Vere Street. The atmosphere is quite casual, so you could go along in your jeans.We were slightly more dressed up, although we still did not feel out of place.
The service was good, I would have preferred a little more resting time between courses, the houmous bowl was scooped up a little too quickly for me (there were still some whole chickpeas in there !) and I would have happily scraped my bread around the bowl it was so delicious.
As soon as the starters were cleared away, the main course arrived. There was no delay, maybe 5 seconds but it's not like it's the kind of food that will ruin if you leave it for ten minutes while you rest before courses. So we did.
The same promptness though was applied when we ordered coffees, I ordered 2 filter coffees and then it was only when I had chance to get the dessert and coffee menu, and saw that there was 'Lebanese coffee' on the menu, that I thought it might be nice to try that - but it seems that it was not possible to change my order. I've no idea how the coffee order got back so quickly. It would have been nice to try the other coffee, but I felt like it was too much trouble...
The promptness of the bill's arrival when we asked for it was great. A pet restaurant hate is waiting an age for the bill to arrive. The food and drinks bill was £90 not including service, which I would consider to be excellent value for three people in central London.
When I next go it's falafel, mint tea and baklava for me !