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Opposite Souk Al Shati, Abu Baheyyah Al Ghazarey Steet

Located just across from the Souk Al Shati on Abu Baheyyah Al Ghazarey Steet is the relatively new Lebanese eatery ‘Roody’s’, a strange name for a Lebanese diner we thought, unless perhaps we’re missing something?

The venue appears from the outside much like a foreign franchise, with bright neon lights. Inside shiny coloured tiles, and polished tables sparkle under the bright spot lights, a testament to their youth, a large juice bar is located to the right of the venue, with what seems an infinite choice of fruits.

At the centre of Roody’s lay the cashiers/ordering point and a large menu hangs above the counter, which although mind bogglingly extensive, is unfortunately only available in Arabic.

Further to the left is the brick lined bakery where fresh manaeesh’s are baked to perfection. There are a variety of Lebanese and Middle Eastern favourites on the menu, everything from the relatively simple liver sandwich, all the way up to delicious stews and mixed grill platters.

However the majority of customers on our visit seemed to be going for the Shawarama. With such a broad menu and little to go on, we decided to follow suit, ordering both the chicken and meat shawarmas, a liver sandwich, some iskander kebabs, and Avocado and Guava Juice to wash it all down.

Paying at the counter we were issued with our receipt which let us then move on to the Juice bar to collect our drinks, before sitting down and waiting while our order was prepared.

About fifteen to twenty minutes later, our order was called out for collection. Unwrapping the selection back at home, it was clear particular attention had been made to the liver sandwich wrapper, branded with the Roody’s logo in a colorful green and white, and the packaging impressed. Unfortunately less attention seemed to have been made to the contents of the liver sandwich itself. The liver was few and far between, it was overly chewy and firm, with more bread than anything else, thus overall a bit of a dismal experience.

The shawarma however was the complete opposite, not much to look at from the outside – being served in basic but functional aluminum packaging, (which kept the food warm) and in terms of taste and filling, the shawarma’s were far superior to the liver sandwiches. Wrapped in freshly baked Saj, the doughy bread was a pleasure to eat, and sliced for convenience, the small bite sized pieces should appeal to those who don’t like to get their hands dirty. As for the chicken filling this was quite greasy, with a light touch of garlic sauce and more available in the takeout box should you wish to add more. The meat shawarma was even better, lean meat, a little salty but considerably less greasy than the chicken, and therefore possibly better for the waistline.

Last and disappointingly least were the Iskander Kebabs, kofta like kebabs sliced down their centre, so one ended up with slithers of oily kofta-like meat that was practically dripping. These kebabs sat on gravy soaked cubes of bread and were also served with a side portion of yoghurt.

To be honest they were anything but lean, and the sausage like mix and overall oilyness was slightly offputting, that being said the breaded cubes were good, but given they had soaked up the meats juices, probably far from healthy!

Small round pieces of bread were also served with our takeout order that appeared to be freshly baked and were pretty good. There are numerous further items here on the menu, and we only managed to scratch the surface on our visit. I wouldn’t order the Iskander kebabs or liver sandwich again, but would be happy to try the meat shawarma and fresh juices should the opportunity arise.

The Avocado and Guava Juice was great and I regretted erring on the side of caution and ordering a small, the juice was so good I would drop back again for this alone!

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