My companion and I enjoyed a very pleasant morning at the Amara complex. We inspected the cakes, chocolates, canapés and petit fours on display in the Connoisseur Bakery which is the first part of the Complex one sees after entering through the glass automatic revolving door.
To the left is Ajji, an Asian fusion-style restaurant, and to the right the Amara café allocated for Singles. The left-hand lift is for access to the Lumiere fine dining-room which is not open yet. So we took the right-hand lift up to the family section of the Amara café, and entered a large open restaurant with a floor-to-ceiling glass wall that provided a small peek at the sea but chiefly overlooked Snail Roundabout, and various hotels including the Hilton, Westin and the construction site of a monstrously tall blue-glass strangely graduated building rising to a peak that looms over all the other buildings in the vicinity.
The décor of this bright and airy restaurant is slightly reminiscent of an airport terminal with uncomfortable chairs surrounding functional tables; however, there are some cheerful orange upholstered banquettes and the ambiance is enhanced by a pretty leaf ornamentation. This delightful leaf motif is themed throughout, in brown in the menus, in cheerful orange in the general decoration, and picked out in a realistic carved wood display on the back wall.
We ordered an eastern cheese platter that included grilled haloumi, lebneh, string cheese, and Arish cheese, along with several delicious thinly battered, deep fried black olives on a bed of cucumber slices. The platter was elegantly decorated with a pretty bouquet of herbs bound by cucumber, a swirl of sweet chutney and a puffed pastry slice on top. Afterwards my friend happily tucked into a flaky zatar croissant, and we both enjoyed a cappucchino and a chilled pomegranate berry juice. The bill totalled 98 riyals.The service was excellent.
A mention must be made of the lavatories, indicated by a large white W and M; the days of Ladies and Gentlemen being behind us. The area is spacious with a high ceiling, walls of orange mosaic tiles, wooden floors, and imposing heavy laminated doors decorated with the familiar orange leaf motif. The washbasins are very special, with water pouring down an interesting slanted glass plate that reveals the orange mosaic shelf beneath.
An additional benefit is the carpark underneath the building which keeps the car cooler than in the 40 centi May day-time temperatures at the parking slots alongside the main road.I much enjoyed my visit, and will definitely visit again.Amara Cafe,
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