Saturday was our first visit to the Marsa Malaz and I have to admit I was impressed. The hotel is stunning, so beautifully and elegantly designed, I would have been happy to spend a few hours just admiring it but we were hungry and had a lunch reservation at Sawa. I had emailed to reserve a table earlier that day and quickly received confirmation, when we arrived it was fairly quiet as it was a week day – the restaurant is pretty big with a fantastic open kitchen where you can watch the chefs at work, again the decoration was lovely.
As it was a perfect November day so we chose to sit on the terrace which looks out towards the beach and the Pearl, it also offered a fantastic close up view of Ahmed Al Bahranis bronze horse sculpture which is very impressive as it towers over the tables
We opted for the business lunch priced at 95QR each which is similar to other promotions across the city mid week. The menu is quite small a choice of 3 starters, mains and desserts but I felt it offered a variety to suit most people.
I ordered the Pea Soup with Goats Cheese and Popcorn Prawns, Greg went for the Smoked Salmon Rillette. After ordering we were presented with an amazing bread basket, the bread was still warm and served with salted butter and hummus, I think if we had just eaten this we would have been happy! Its always a good sign when your first reaction to seeing your dish is ‘wow’ but my soup had that effect. It was so pretty and smelt divine. The sweet velvety soup had swirls of salty goats cheese melted through it and the lightly battered prawns on the side were delicious, it was a 5* version of fish with mushy peas! Greg really enjoyed the smoky salmon as it wasn’t too overpowering and the thin crispy cracker bread was perfect.
For mains I ordered Hammour with Lentils and Greg ordered the Angus Short Rib, the intention was to share but we enjoyed our dishes so much that didn’t really happen. The Hammour was light and moist and worked with the lentil which had a quite firm texture. Greg loved the short rib, it was so tender it just melted in your mouth and the croutons had absorbed the salty, meaty gravy. Another outstanding dish.
I can usually take or leave dessert, I don’t really have a sweet tooth but the Snickers dish caught my attention as I love salted caramel. It was again very well presented with hand made chocolates but I found it far too sweet and Greg ended up eating mine as well as his Panna Cotta which is one of his favourite desserts. He did however feel that the amount of orange soup overpowered the white chocolate so the taste of it didn’t really come through.
Our bill came to 350QR for two 3 course business lunches, a large water, a beer, coffee and a tip which is brilliant value. We absolutely loved our lunch here, everything came together – good service, pretty view and fantastic food. The a la carte menu looks really good and if the standard of business lunch is anything to go by I am sure it will be another ‘ wow’ experience.