Reading a recent post on Badermania [ https://badermania.wordpress.com/2015/03/16/ethics-of-a-food-blogger/ ] recalled a restaurant review I totally meant to write up but forgot to.
I went to Ubhar in Bareeq Al Shatti with my husband not too long ago, one evening. Walking in, two larger tables were taken and many others had reserved signs on them (although no one ever seemed to come) so basically we were hearded to a specific small table. I've been to Ubhar many times and love the food and decor and usually, the service.
However, service was pretty bad this time (food remained excellent). Basically, we just came because we love this restaurant. We just wanted snacks and deserts. We aren't cheap tippers, although we don't always order to the nines, so it made me sad that I had to wave (many, many times) for the waiter. My food did not come at the same time as my husbands and my dishes actually are pre-prepared plates and should have taken less time than his, if one knows the restaurant biz. I wanted Omani qahwa and basically had to beg for this (and there really were only two other parties in the restaurant and THEY all seemed to notice my attempts for the waiter's attention even if he did not). In the end I asked another waiter, who was much better but still, same struggle for the bill to go.
I am glad, for the sake of my love of Ubhar, that it wasn't the first time I tried this place. And that my Amouage creme brulee was utterly perfect, and my frankinsence icecream so refreshing. However, my one teeny tiny finjan of Omani coffee begged for with over the top effort made me feel the whole thing to have been kind of stingey. Ontop of all the effort to ask, hey where is my food? Why isn't it here yet? My husband is done eating. Romantic together meal without kids: fail.
Although, in compare my husband liked it better than Kurkum in Mutrah where we'd just been (where the food was timely and service great), where the qahwa itself was not complimentary, but rather outrageously priced (since even Bank Muscat serves it for free---I mean, charge 3-4 OMR or something, not 8 OMR for something in the country usually served free). In Ubhar, the qahwa is complimentary---but I felt like a beggar even though I did order three items from the menu. If one is having desert, or it is late in the afternoon, waitstaff should know someone might want qahwa, or be trying to order another beverage before leaving. Kurkum, great food, romantic decor, bad value, good service (not really my kind of desert and nightcap kind of place though).
So now I don't know what to do? The Amouage with qahwa is my favourite desert in Oman, but maybe macaroons with espresso at Fauchon if I snack late again? The ladies at Fauchon have always always been impeccable in service (and usually give free chocolate to take home for my little daughter even though they have no idea who I am they remember I am a customer who has come before). That's nice.
Sorry Ubhar. Please make sure this doesn't happen again.