Wednesday, February 18, 2009

al nafourah at le meridien

this restaurant is so beautiful. located on the 8th floor at le meridien, it smells good the moment you step in. sunlight streams in from the floor to ceiling windows draped in rich brown and gold curtains, the ceiling lamps cast a nice glow.
we'd not usually find ourselves at posh hotels having posh meals as we're not affluent folk but we were given this coupon for a free set lunch.

i was really looking forward to this meal because i envisioned typical arab fare - hummus, baba ghanoush, koftas, roast lamb and briyani but i was disappointed because the set lunch was already "Set" and it wasn't anything near what i expected! the 1st course was a bland bean salad, a few leaves and cold "seafood" rice cake with mushed up bits of "seafood" [which i suspect was crabstick and tuna] that tasted as if it were made from the leftovers from last week's buffet. it was so bland/tasteless that we had to eat it with the salty olives to make it taste acceptable. i highly doubt that anything in this appetizer was middle eastern at all, save for the olives. since when did arabs have a tradition of crabstick?
however i loved the decor. this lamp looks so quaint and antiqued.
our main course was a roast chicken fillet with vegetable pieces that also tasted as if they were recycled from another restaurant's buffet spread. the chicken wasn't terrible but still not as tasty as ayamas'. it was rather bland after the skin had been removed. i surely wasn't expecting to have roast chicken at an arab restaurant! if i'd wanted roast chicken i would've gone to dave's deli. there was nothing arab about this at all.
the only thing i enjoyed about this meal was the milk pudding and orange jelly layered dessert. it was creamy and flavourful, also the coffee was aromatic. the scary looking red cordial was revolting. perhaps just the colour of it put me off.
we lingered around quite long because we were enjoying the arab R&B music that was playing.
overall this meal was quite disappointing although the decor and music was good.the service was also impeccable. but really! all that hype and the food is so disappointing! how can this be?

apparently they do serve very good middle eastern lamb dishes, and mezze platters and dips and sheesh tawooks, all from the ala carte menu which of course, cost an arm and a leg. their buffets are priced around RM108++ per head. i think it's a sin to spend that much on ONE meal when that amount can feed a poor family for a week.

after reading the experience of this other blogger,
my suspicion is that this "Set lunch" came about specifically for the sake of "rewarding" the starwood privilege card holders or something of the sort, so they had to make something up that looked as if it's worth a lot but in reality, is nowhere near the standard expected. only those with these free "privilege" coupons would eat the miserable set lunches so since they're not paying anything, they can't complain, so might as well serve them up something cheap but make it LOOK impressive.

very crafty plan i must say.

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