Sep 22, 2012

Fairouz – Shangri La Barr Al Jissah

I was invited last week to try out Fairouz (Telephone 2477 6565 – Map), the new Lebanese restaurant in the Shangri La Barr Al Jissah Resort located outside the Omani Heritage Village section of the resort.

Fairouz has one spacious seating area that can accommodate small and large groups. We went there early on a weekday and several tables were occupied, but the place was still nowhere near full. The restaurant has live music which starts playing around 10pm. We went there early and managed to see the band start performing before we left. I also heard that the restaurant has some belly dancers, but we probably left too early to see any of them.

The big menu of Fairous offers a wide variety of hot and cold Lebanese starters, salads, main courses and grills. Fairouz also currently offers two set menu options one for regular grills and another for sea food grills. We decided to go for the regular grills option.

Our meal started with cold starters such as hummous, muttabal, fattoush, tabouleh, and vine leaves. We also ordered an extra mouhammara – a spicy dip of crushed walnuts with pomegranate juice and olive oil. The cold starters came with a small basket of cut lebanese bread. I thought that all the cold starters were great, the mouhammara was also pretty nice.

Our cold starters were followed by the hot starters that included chicken liver, kibbeh, and spinach fatayer. The chicken liver was pan fried and glazed with pomegranate sauce, and it was really amazing. The kibbeh was filled with minced lamb and pine seeds and was also excellent.

For some reason our mixed grills main took a really long time to arrive, and eventually came in a single plate filled with a variety of grills such as kebabs, tikka, arrayis, and grilled tomatoes along with plate of french fries and small portion of mayo. All the grills were cooked well, but we thought that they arrived a bit too cold for our liking. We still ate them, but we would have enjoyed them way more if it came at the right temperature. I thought that the portions were huge for two people taking into consideration that we had many starters as part of the set menu.

Our meal was concluded by a plate of Lebanese baqlawa and a plate of fruit cuts. The baqlawa was great because it seemed fresh, crunchy and not oily at all.

We also tried some of the signature drinks from Fairouz, the Sweet Melon drink which had fresh melon, mint leaves, lemon juice and soda and Red Rose – a rose syrap with almonds, pine leaves, and soda. I thought the drink I tried was a bit too sweet for my liking, and I would have been probably better off with a regular juice.

I thought that service at Fairouz was excellent, the waiters seemed to be friendly and well informed about the items on their menu. Our main course came a bit cold, but I still had a great overall experience at Fairouz especially due to their amazing hot starters.

Have you guys been to Fairouz or any of the new restaurants at Shangri La?