A wide glass door with a posh handle, cream-colored pavements, a long bar and some tables with leather sofas: the Maroush restaurant in Edgware road appeared very expensive and sophisticated at first.
An elegant waiter turned up his nose as we asked him a place for three on Saturday evening at eight. “I can give you one, but I need it free by 10.30,” he said, and guided us in the main hall downstairs.
The room was crowded, but the low light made the ambience very warm and inviting. A lot of squared and round tables with white coverts and shell-shaped napkins were disposed very close to one-another.
We walked in front of a tiny stage on one corner and sat at a large table with a bowl of multicoloured vegetables on it. A waitress gave us the menus and waited for our orders.
The sesame pastries were finished, so we skipped the starter and chose a couple of mixed grilled meat in garlic sauce and a roasted lamb with rice. We took also a bowl of steamed rice and a dish of salad on the side, while the Fattush bread was free.
As we got our dishes, two men started to play Lebanese music with an electric piano and an oud-guitar. The grilled meat was very tasty, especially the lamb cubes, and also the generous portion of roast was tender and topped by a delicate dressing. Although, we had a loathsome experience when we tasted the garlic and pepper sauce, which was too spicy for our tongues and required a lot of water and plain bread to recover.
After the main course, the waitress brought us a dish of Bakla – or Baklawi, a nectarous Lebanese dessert – and fresh fruit to share. In the meantime, the lights went lower, the music louder and a belly dancer started to perform among the tables.
It was definitely a pleasant dinner, the venue was attractive and the waiters were very professional. We spent £24 each, tip included – but we didn’t take any wine.
The Marouch restaurant, whose group runs other 15 locals all over London, is open every day from 12pm to 2am and offers live music and belly dance every night.