We were recently obligated to go out to dinner with some people who proved themselves to be authentically horrible. The restaurant, however is my concern today. By default, due to its proximity to one person's hotel, we decided upon a restaurant called Carter's in the Wafi Mall. Now Wafi Mall is worth visiting if only for its reproductions of Egyptian Temples- every man a pharoah at Wafi- and walking through these things is quite the experience.
Our dinner started out pleasantly enough with a pretty attentive waitress taking our drink order and talking up the specials, but since our party wasn't drinking, she seemed to lose all interest in waiting on us after taking the drink order.
For a starter, I had a cheese and sundried tomato bruschetta with sauteed mushroom and arugula. This was actually pretty ok except for the truly disgusting balsamic reduction which was thankfully not too heavily applied. PLEASE, Chef's of the world, skip the g--d--ned balsamic reductions! They are overpowering and unnecessary at best. Also, this was two different bruschettas, not one. A mushroom and arugula and a cheese and dried tomato would have been much much better.
For a main course I had a simple baked mustard chicken over mashed potatos with something called 'pearled' vegetables. The chicken suffered from a pickup of at least 20% - far too much of a crispy coating - that left me feeling more like I was eating at McDonalds than at a 'fine dining' restaurant and put down the melon baller. A kind of honesty in preparation seemed to be sorely missing from our meal.
My husband had a pot pie, with an unfortunately slightly soggy puff pastry on top; served with mashed potatoes and no other vegetables. Our dinner companions ate unremarkable salmon over couscous also served without a vegetable side, but they deserved it.
Carter's is fine for the atmosphere, I gather it is supposed to be reminiscent of a 'Ricks Cafe' from Casablanca or other romantic 40's mid-eastern destination, but it proved to be a boring meal at best and a little bit of a rip off, with very little care for or precision in preparation. I certainly wouldn't go there again.