On our way to all time favourite, everyones' darling Kargeen we noticed a posh looking new (or revamped) Lebanese restaurant, named Jabal Lebnan. We promised ourselves to come back soon and try this out. And so we did.
The restaurant has a fresh, and stylish look, quite uncommon for grill restaurants. Despite this, it was terribly quiet on the weekday we visited. Only one other table was occupied. The restaurant's A/C quite obviously hoped for a better turnout as well. It was freezing, and the noise of the A/C installation was almost unbearable.
The menu looked good though, with a wide selection of Lebanese dishes, as well as a couple of obligatory burgers and pastas. We decided to try some different flavours and ordered two starters and two main courses. Before we start about the food, first a couple of words about the service. How is it possible that we had to wait for nearly half an hour before our drinks arrived? And why did the bread and the second starter only show up on the table when the main courses were already served? We sat waiting for the starters for nearly 20 minutes, without anything to drink or to chew on. We can understand if something like this happens on a busy night, but in an almost empty restaurant? Inexcusable.
Now, on to the food: the Fatteh (a mix of spiced yoghurt, chickpeas and toasted pita) was very nice, but suffered from being the only thing on the table. Had we had some bread or the other starter (which turned out to be a disappointment, but we didn't know that yet then), we would have had some variety, but after a couple spoonfuls of fatteh, we grew tired of it. Together with the main courses (Lebanese Ouzi and Shish Taouk) we got a boring version of Arayess Kafta. The mains didn't impress much either. The Lebanese Ouzi was rather tasteless and dry. While the Shish Taouk was well-grilled and tender, it was very much one taste (there didn't seem to be much else than paprika powder and lemon juice in the marinade), which was not enought to remain interesting. Portions were gigantic, so no risk of undereating.
It may be the posh look, or the location (in the Al Noor Building in Madinat Qaboos), but the prices were quite steep for an eatery of this kind. As soon as we finished eating, we paid the nearly 20 Rials that we were due and left the restaurant. Stuffed, half-frozen, and utterly unsatisfied.
If you're looking for good Lebanese food, walk past Jabal Lebnan and go to the coffeeshop / restaurant that sits in the garden opposite of this. Half the price, better quality, and a good shisha to finish off your evening. That's more like it.