For starters DH ordered a lentil soup, DD wanted haloumi cheese, and DM (as is my way ...) ordered two different starters - fresh asparagus spears (out of a tin) and shamoush cheese (?) - gotta try something new every time!! All of these, excluding the soup, are served on a queen size bed of lettuce, tomato, cucumber, green peppers etc. The soup is accompanied with a whole loaf of croutons and some sliced lemon (in lentil soup??)
Well, before the actual starters made it to the table, the "pre-starters" got there ... one dozen (12!) arabic breads, a shovelful each of green olives, black olives and gherkin-type things (salty - not sour) and one of those huge, marvellous do-it-yourself salads, consisting of a bunch (literally, still tied with string) of mint, a lettuce, three carrots, two tomatoes, two cucumbers, two lemons (! huh??) - all whole - and a partridge in a pear tree!!!! .... Ok, no partridge ....
And don't forget the two litres of water which is poured into goldfish bowl size glasses.
So, with the table groaning under the combined weight of what some entire countries eat in a month - our main courses arrived - two prawns and spaghetti and one grilled prawns. The main courses came on tray sized platters and included a mountain of rice, chips, peas, carrots, more salad and more lemon!! Arab hospitality at its best!
Unfortunately, the spaghetti and prawns were not very edible - a bit like ketties with rubber bullets (sorry, only SAfricans will understand that!) Now, DM would have just stayed quiet - in my usual shy and retiring manner(!), but DH had to complain to the manager, who was mortified that a customer had a problem. He assured us he would "sort the chef out" and off he flounced. Visions of him swatting the chef with a spoon!!
By that time, we had made some serious inroads into the Mount Everest of food and were feeling a bit like Tweedledum, Tweedledee and Tweedle-omg-my-trousers-dont-fit-anymore, when suddenly .........
tummm ta ta tummmm (no pun intended!)
Two waiters arrived and started whipping everything off the table, even the tablecloth. They reset the table, ignoring our feeble protests and hurried off as the manager announced he had "big surprise for us ...."
Imaginations ran wild - in some countries it is an honour to be served sheep's eyeballs .... we had seen sheep's balls in the supermarket, though not their EYEballs!! DD was beginning to look a bit green around the gills .... Were they going to serve us our order all over - how were we going to politely refuse to eat another bite? OMG !!!
The manager arrived with a cloth covering a dome shaped object resting on a huge platter .... sheep's eyeballs still in the head?? With a flourish he lifted the cloth and revealed .....
a whole watermelon, beautifully sliced and arranged with a vineyard of grapes.
None of us had space, but we somehow managed to force some of the fruit down and it was superb.
We thanked the manager and his staff profusely, paid the bill and left, feeling slightly embarassed at their generosity. However, once we drove off, we discovered that they had had the last laugh ... we were charged Dh25 (R50) for "fruits".
Hee hee hee, serve DH right for complaining!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!