Kawkab really likes Dubai, but what she loves more is the potential of Dubai. It’s hard to deny how Dubai is an example of creating something out of nothing. Sometimes, I wish I can fast forward a decade, knowing the city is bound to be more interesting by then, because you can tell it is only going to get better.
Almost six years after moving to Dubai, one is always on the lookout for “hidden gems” or “un-Dubai like places”. For those who live here, you might relate these to good dining places that are not in malls or hotels. So for today’s lunch, Kawkab gathered the troupe and headed towards Arabian Ranches, hoping for such an experience. We went to Maison Mathis, a Belgian restaurant with an outdoor terrace, overlooking the golf course.
After having written a somewhat negative review of a somewhat rotten lunch yesterday, Kawkab had every intention of looking at the glass half full today. Throughout the lunch, I found myself repeatedly probing on what tastes good and what the peasants could enjoy if they only tried harder. When the cutlery didn’t come today, Kawkab jumped to the rescue, sparing any drama with the staff. Thankfully, the service station was next to us, so we attended to ourselves most of the time. I can’t deny that there is a bit of a halo effect, in the sense that I was extremely aware of my own cognitive bias, wanting to find great things to write so as not to sound like a bitch-tante who writes two negative reviews in a row.
So let’s jump to the food. The pot of moules marinière was good and filling. Not as great as that of Belgium Beer Cafe, but not really bad either. It could have perhaps used a little more white wine in the sauce. The plates of asparagus with poached eggs were underwhelming, as the waiter had explained to my peasant friends that they are served as main course. They found themselves later on with five spears of asparagus with one poached egg on top. Naturally, we ordered more food after that. Keeping in the positive spirit, the mushroom pasta was… ‘amusing’. Amusing in the sense that when Shereen ordered it, it was very dry and seemingly cooked only with some butter. When starving Gaby ordered it later, it came very rich in creamy sauce, and with extra spinach. Either the chef’s skills drastically improved within half an hour, or the menu was suddenly reengineered. The banoffee pie seemed to be everyone’s favourite among the dessert orders.
Kawkab probed a lot, but no one really agreed that they would return to Maison Mathis. Yes, they serve alcohol; and yes, the setting overlooks the golf course. But the service is slow, the ambience is a bit bland, the waiters are dispassionate and the food is inconsistent. On the other hand, the food is neither THAT bad nor THAT expensive. The total bill was 190 dirhams per person, including appetizers & desserts, and tips. See? I guess I am still trying to look at the bright side. Today’s lunch felt like trying to make something out of nothing. And that’s never such a bad thing.
Sahtein ya 3yoon el tante el mka7alleh!