So Arabian Knights has just moved from their small but popular eatery at Marine Drive to a proper restaurant in Kollupitiya Galle Road. It’s an awesome place to hang out at, but the food was a bit disappointing judging by their old standards.
During Ramadan they’ve got a neat ifthar deal for Rs. 1250 – you get their chicken shorba soup, chicken and beef kebabs, falafel, pita bread, damasco fries, mini Syrian shawarma, a glass of laban, and Arabic pudding or muhalabia. On typical days the shawarmas are for Rs. 420, the damasco fries for Rs. 360 and a plate of kebab for Rs. 680. So with taxes you might spend about Rs. 1000 here. The menu is limited till around the first week of August or so, so we’re yet to sample this new outlet’s rice dishes.
We love damasco fries, so it was with great sorrow that we discovered ours were very soggy. They promptly gave us a plate of well fried french fries to make up for it though.
On the same plate was a beef samosa, falafel, beef kofta kebab and chicken seekh kebab and a spicy dip. They were alright, nothing stood out, and the chicken kebab was dry. We loved the dip though and used it as a side for the shawarma as well.
We were so looking forward to the mini Syrian shawarma – these guys are known for their good shawarmas. But it was an anti-climax situation when it arrived; it was of course tasty, but average and could have used more filling.
The glass of laban (fermented milk) was meh, but then maybe that’s my fault because I don’t even like Arabic beverages. The muhalabia, an Arabic dessert, made of condensed milk and nuts was delicious – we really wished the cup wasn’t so tiny though. The manager offered us a nice strong cup of mint tea too.
Service & Ambience
The service at Arabian Knights is very good – the managers stop by tables for a chat and the waiters are very polite and obliging if you ask them about the dishes. The Syrian chef so well known at the old outlet can still be seen here in the kitchen (his fez has been replaced with an ordinary cap though).
The restaurant is all blues and yellows, Middle Eastern arches and lattice. Its central dining area is lit up by boxy retro lanterns from the ceiling, and from here you can peek into the kitchen through glass doors. There are two inner rooms – one has more dining tables, and one is a very cool chill-out out room with low tables and cushions on the floor.
The Arabian Knights restaurant has got a very cool jazzed up interior, it’s a great place to hang out at with friends. Their food is just okay, not impressive, and yet to meet their old level of awesome. We’re hoping that maybe they’ll up their game once the full menu is out in August.