This is our second visit to a middle-eastern restaurant in recent months. I was there with my wife, my brother and wife, and my sister for something different one Saturday evening. Tarbush (a Turkish hat or Fez) is a Lebanese restaurant located in the basement food court of the newly opened Empire shopping gallery in Subang Jaya. It is one of a chain of restaurants - the other are in KL Bukit Bintang, Starhill Gallery and the Pyramid in Sunway.
The place was very nicely furnished, bright and modern, with a beautiful huge mural on one side of the restaurant.
The menu was interesting. Of course, most of the offerings were alien to us. The waitress who attended to us was rather blur and could hardly understand our queries. Another staff came over to assist and he too was not certain on many things we asked him.
We finally made our choices. We ordered to indulge.
The first dish was the Tarbish salad. It was very nice. It was salad in a yogurt sauce with some crispy I-don't-know-what. But the serving was rather small and insufficient for the 5 of us.
The Lamb Arayes was also very good. It was minced lamb wrapped in a thin bread, served with french fries, tomato and some onions. The bread looked kind of messy and over done. The taste was very gamy and flavorful. I liked it.
The chicken briyani was quite unlike the nasi briyani that we are so used to. It comprised a bowl of rather soggy briyani nice and a piece of fried chicken bathed in a kind of tomato sauce. Did not look very appetizing. But the rice was surprisingly tasty. I liked the rice but not the chicken.
The Falafel was a plate of 4 chick pea cutlets. It was served with a thick sesame sauce and some salad. The cutlets tasted not unlike the Indian vadai in our mamak shop. It wasn't bad.
The mixed grill was a combination of some kebabs and grilled meat scattered on a rather large plate. There was served with some french fries, some salad and a garlic sauce. It was rather dry and not great.
The spring chicken was an after-thought - an added on. Like the mixed grill, it looked very uninteresting and unappetizing. It was a whole chicken, rather dark and over-grilled. But it tasted OK. The flavor was good but overly salty. Our verdict was mixed - some of us liked it and others did not.
Overall, our experience at the Tarbush was rather disappointing. It definitely was not up to my expectations. But the place was well patronized. When we arrived, the place was already pretty full but there were still some empty tables. By the time we finished our meal, the place was packed and people were outside waiting for their tables.
Would I return? Probably not at their Empire outlet. I went thru their website and their other outlets appear to have a different menu. I may visit their Sunway outlet to give it a try.