I had popped into the Rotana Cafe on South Richmond Street for lunch previously and was happy with the lamb shish I got for €7.50. A good sized portion, it was well spiced and although the lamb was a little tough, the authentic Lebanese flavour made up for it. My husband had tasty falafel which for four pieces came in at €3.50. I recommended this place to friends and suggested it as a better alternative to Zaytoon because of it’s good atmosphere and service.
When I returned, this time for dinner, I was disappointed. I noticed a significant hike in the price. I once again ordered the Lamb Shish but because it was no longer lunchtime (12 – 5pm) it cost €11.50. It was an hour later, the same food and the same amount of labour involved; how can they charge an extra €4 for the same meal just because it’s dark outside?
For an extra €3 the dish came with Lebanese rice and a drink. I only got the deal because I really wanted the rice and if I had got the rice alone it would have cost me €3.50. The price hike was one thing but it was the meat that got my goat, it was really tough and tasted a little odd – so much so that it might as well have been goat.
Everything else, from the delicate rice and presentation, was good. Why go to so much effort on somethings and then serve expensive leather?
Although it’s a different cuisine, I just feel that if you are going to compete with the likes of Green Nineteen that offer delicious, well cooked main meals for €10 just down the road, they should lower their prices and change their butchers.
This is their lunchtime menu which is reasonable:
- Falafel 4 pieces €3.50 (€3.90 after 5pm)
- Falafel sandwich with hummus €5.90 (€6.90 after 5pm)
- Chicken Shawarma (Roasted thin slices of chicken) served with mixed Salad and Lebanese Bread. €7.50 (€9.40 after 5pm)
- Mixed Kebab (Roasted slices of marinated lamb and chicken) Served with Mixed Salad – €7.50. (€10.90 after 5pm)
- Lamb Kafta (Charcoal brochette of minced lamb seasoned with parsley and onion) Served with Mixed Salad and Lebanese Bread – €7.50. (€9.90 after 5pm)
- Shish Taouk (Charcoal-grilled brochette of chicken marinated in garlic & lemon juice) Served with Mixed Salad and Lebanese Bread. €7.50 (€11.50)