Sunday, January 18, 2009
Maroush 1 on Edgware Road
Address 21 Edgware Rd,Bayswater, W2 2Phone 020 72476400
Web site www.maroush.com
Main dish price range £10-15
Rating 0 Stars. I would seriously rather go hungry.
We had decided only to post reviews of restaurants that we liked on this blog (negative opinions I've been chalking up on urbanspoon.com), but last night I had a truly extraordinary restaurant experience, and I feel a strong need to speak out.
A friend visiting from out of town wanted Lebanese, and I leapt at the opportunity to try Maroush, the flagship restaurant of the chain that includes places I love such as Ranoush Juice and Beirut Express. Indeed, up and down Edgware Road, you're hard-pressed to find a place not owned by the Maroush empire. Maroush is said to be more up-market, and have belly dancing, so I figured it was a safe bet for an out of town guest.
We got there around nine, and after having to be made to feel bad about not having a reservation for 5 or 10 minutes, we were shown into their main dining room, which happens to be in a large, low-ceilinged basement. The place settings are nice, white linen and all that, and the waiters are all in suits, so it was a bit of a surprise to see a DJ pumping out Lebanese hits from a corner of the dining room.
The music was loud, but it didn't seem to bother the large crowd of diners, which ranged from what looked like a large drunken office outing to quite a few middle eastern couples. We had only begun to complain about the loud music when all of a sudden IT GOT COMPLETELY DEAFENING. And it stayed that way, for THE NEXT TWO HOURS, which is how long it took us to get the food. And I mean deafening -- my friend and I put our faces next to each other, and shouted, and we still couldn't here. I almost want to excuse the friendly waitstaff for being so slow, since it was clear that they could not hear what the hell any of their customers were saying to them.
When we finally got our main course (which could have, and probably did, come from the same kitchen as Beirut Express), I got the waiter to bring the bill right away. We wolfed down the kebabs we had ordered, then rushed out of that dungeon, never to return.