I went with the wife to The Globe Restaurant and Lounge after her cousin recommended it. I was aware of its existence for months now from my several visits to Sultan Mall, but I neither had a great urge nor curiosity to visit it. I guess it is the word lounge attached to it with its negative stigma, which translates to me â€œNon-smokers are not really welcomed!â€. Regardless, it was a 5 pm on Thursday, so I figured it is too early for the party people and I should be ok, kinda.
Anyhow, inside the mall, the place is occupying a big portion of the south side of its second floor. From the outside, it has a little flair and the look of its signs would not prepare you for what you are about to step into. The place looks massive from inside, mimicking a village with a high sealing painted as sky, with many housed in two floors, and a huge stairway in the middle that looks like a ship. The place looks inviting indeed. There was no host at first, but then one took notice of us and invited us in. The seating areas are like small rooms, totally separated from one another, some big and some smaller, to accommodate different party sizes. We initially were lead to a room that easily would fit 10 people, but we opted for a smaller more intimate one.
The rooms are decorated like old Saudi houses. They resemble our family reception rooms from 20 years ago, only the Arabic seating arrangements are on a higher ground and not on the floor. The tables are large wooden coffee-table style. It really makes a perfect setting for a hang out, and I hate to say it, more for smoking Shesha and having a drink with friends, than eating a proper meal. Donâ€™t get me wrong, it is better for non-smokers than many restaurants nowadays because it shields you from the smoking of the people next door, and I supposed it is also good for female parties because it gives them a good deal of privacy. Because the rooms are sort of isolated, there is a buzzer on the table for the server when you need him, which is neat. The tables themselves are really nice looking, and the retro look of the rooms are a smart way of getting away with sloppy finishing work, like a loose tile, or a nail sticking out of the wall. . But all said and done the difference in height between the seats and table make for some awkward dining experience.
The waiter brought us the glossy looking menu. We went through it, and the items in it are the regular fare that you would find in such a place. A Fusion of popular soups, salads, sandwiches, Arabic mezza, BBQ, pastas, etc, but nothing really sticks out as a unique signature dish. I thought many of the main dishes and especially the drinks are overpriced, which is normal for these so called lounges. They are also charging a whopping 18% for service, I thought this is their way of saying someone’s gotta pay for all this massive work on decoration. We chose Seafood soup (35 SR), Mexican Salad (35 SR), Club Sandwich (33 SR), Chicken Mushrooms plate (48 SR). My wife picked the 4×4 Power cocktail (25 SR) and I got the Blue Sky cocktail (23 SR).
We waited for 10 min or more for our soup and salad to arrive, but our drinks did not take as long. My Blue Sky was not blue at all, it was pinkish. There was nothing impressive about its presentation, and frankly not even its taste. Donâ€™t get me wrong, it tasted fresh, nice even, but it did not wow me. It tasted like a banana smoothie with a hint of carrot and peach, and my wifeâ€™s drink was not impressive either.
The food arrival was most welcome because we were verging on starving. The seafood soup was really nice, warm and creamy, and it tasted good too, but again nothing out of the ordinary or signature about it. The Mexican Salad was the most frustrating, because there was nothing Mexican about it, unless you count corn and red kidney beans Mexican. It was a bunch of diced vegetablse and lettuce stacked together in a very beautiful wooden bowel, and covered with Feta cheese, an odd cheese to use in a so-called Mexican Salad. It tasted ok, but they might as well have called it â€œgeneric mixed saladâ€.
The club sandwich also came in a very beautiful wooden plate, but there was almost zero effort put on presentation beyond that, and its taste was as plain and unremarkable as it gets. The mushroom chicken fared much better comparably. It came with the side of rice and sautÃ©ed bell pepper, and garnished with potato skin and caramelized onion. The chicken breast tasted good, was perfectly cooked, and the mushroom sauce was creamy and nice, but it felt more like the work of someone who is good at cooking than a chef with a vision and a special touch. My total bill with 18% service charge was SR234.82, and we did not even had any desert.
I realize my review above might come across as negative, but I really donâ€™t mean to persuade you from giving the place a try, because everything about the ambience there was really good. The background music of Fairouz setting up the mood, and the fairly quick and competent service, all added up to a fairly pleasant experience. The Globe Restaurant and Lounge deserves a visit if only to marvel in the great work put on setting it this way. Put know that beyond all that faÃ§ade, the food is average at best and would be a letdown if you discount any everything else. That is why I think people who go out and the food is an afterthought for them will enjoy this place just fine.