Jillian R.
I'm leaving tonight for a week-long trip to Georgetown, Penang. I can't say I'm super excited; because I'm leaving behind my precious little babies and the husband. I just have some errands that can't be done overseas since the Malaysian Embassy here is completely inefficient and has done nothing  to help me as long as I've been here (except stamp some documents for quite a hefty fee!) - they can't even give me a citizen registration form while I was there (in person), I was told to come home, print out the form from the website, fill it out then go back to the embassy to hand it in. I haven't gotten around to it at this point of time.

Anyway, I thought before I get going, I'll write a quick restaurant review since I haven't really written about Abu Dhabi in quite a while.

After much hesitation, we finally visited Madinat Zayed Shoppipng Centre. The mall has been around for some time I suppose, and is a popular hangout for laborers. This is not an assumption as every evening (all day during the weekends) one can see HUNDREDS of laborers hanging around the front of the building; on the grass, under trees, etc - many of them napping blissfully, seemingly unaware of the noisy traffic and people trampling around. 

So, yes, after MUCH hesitation (it only took a year!) I reluctantly went with Eric to check this place out. I was pleasantly surprised I must say. We went on a weekday morning, the building; although dated and is mostly occupied by outlets selling gaudy jewelry and Middle Eastern and Indian traditional wear, was empty. The bathroom is clean (and tasteful). There are TWO food courts, one which looked dark and kinda sad and the other, bright, open and inviting. Naturally, we wandered into the latter.

Tanjara is an Iranian/Lebanese/Moroccon restaurant located in one corner of the food court; a nice little sit-down place to go to if one does not fancy carrying their own tray of food and using plastic cutlery (I've always hated plastic cutlery with a passion!).

I've never really liked Middle Eastern food, so I went in there hoping to order some Fish 'n' Chips, or anything other than. However, I changed my mind after seeing the specials menu and we ordered "Harira Soup" (which was SOOO good, I think I could eat this every day), fried calamari and a Lamb Tagine to share. The meal came with a basket of Arabic flat bread (which I've never been a fan of). Everything was really good, or maybe Eric and I were really, really happy when the food (and drinks) finally came.

The restaurant, although serves really delicious food and had ONE good waiter (which is extremely rare in this part of the world), had a(?) really slow chef. It took ages and ages for our pot of Moroccan tea to arrive and the food took even longer! We went in hungry and was near starving when the appetizer was served. The waiter apologized and said that they were making it fresh.

We were the only diners in there at the time. I don't want to imagine the wait if there were a few others.

(Eric; who said he wasn't hungry when we sat down got impatient after 20 mins)

After a 30 minute (or so) wait, the food arrived and we gobbled everything up in under 10 minutes. 

The verdict; great food but perhaps under-staffed resulting in extremely slow service. I'd recommend trying this place out, but only do so after having a small snack to line the stomach!

Note: We went back there with some friends for dinner. There were 3-4 other tables dining at the time, we waited almost an hour; of which 15 mins were spent waiting for the drinks to be served. Our friends didn't order enough so they put in a second entre order halfway through the meal, it only took another 30 mins to reach the table. After dinner, we ordered some coffee which took about 20 mins. I don't think I ever spend this much time for waiting for food at a restaurant!  
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