Time Out Says
The dhow itself is impressive. A large upper deck, protected from the elements by a white sail canopy, is connected by parallel curved wooden staircases to the panelled indoor dining area, where the frantic free-for-all at the continental buffet seemed somehow out of place.
Sadly the food didn’t really warrant such levels of enthusiasm. Unmarked tureens – arousing suspicion among vegetarians – contained an uninspiring array of dishes, all looking as though they had been lying there rather too long. The lasagne was generously meaty, but the mildly-spiced prawns were too watery, the fish came in a very bland creamy sauce, and the lamb chops were too dry. All the flavour had been boiled out of the mixed vegetables, and the fried potatoes were soggy and crying out for some salt. A rubbery tagliatelle and vegetable combo was similarly tasteless. The salads were fresh but very basic, with ingredients limited to chopped lettuce, cucumber, tomato and the odd can of tuna. The Indian spread upstairs seemed a better bet. The chicken tikka masala was enjoyable if rather too mild, while the mutton rampuri was a little tough but strongly flavoured.
People were still crowding around the sweet tables, where a good fruit salad and inoffensive Indian rice pudding trumped a gloopy chocolate dessert, when the sudden appearance of a belly dancer sent them stampeding to the far end of the deck. Any remaining notion of a serene starlit dinner blew overboard as the party took to the floor, with women clapping and fatherly figures jiggling their shoulders self-consciously as the music blared in cheerful fits and starts.
By Matthew Lee | 01 Feb 2005
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