Rotana Cafe is a Lebanese restaurant in Portobello. It has a great reputation for really well put together food, friendly service and good value. As well as that, there operate a BYOB system which appeals to people looking to save money on expensive wine/beer lists. I’ve been there before and had a really tasty meal and for a great price too, so when I went in today I knew what to expect. There’s a little outdoor seating area but that was full so I ate inside. With only one other table there, the service was very fast and the waiter was friendly.
Flavour: 6/10 The falafel was buried in the bottom of a wrap that had been wrapped so tightly the paper it was wrapped in stuck to it. It wasn’t particularly hot and it tasted okay. There was no blast of taste and it lacked crunch and heat.
Fillings & Sauces: 6/10 The wrap came with some sauce, but not enough to make any impact. There was lettuce, tomato, gherkin and some red cabbage which all blended together nicely and were very fresh. There was also some pickled turnip which I’ve never had before – pretty and pink, they’d been dyed with beets. A nice surprise.
Presentation and Value: 6/10 As you can see from the above picture, there wasn’t much effort with presentation but it was simple and clean at the very least. It was great value for a sit down meal at only €6.90 and if I’d had a starter they have an excellent 2 course lunch deal for €10.90 .
Overall grade: 6/10 After so many people had mentioned the place and given I’d been before and had had a lovely meal this was a disappointing visit. Maybe it was the middle of a Tuesday at lunch time and the evening falafel is the one I should go for. Or maybe I should’ve asked for some sides or a starter. But if I’m honest, what I was served wasn’t near as nice as some of the other falafels I’ve had so it’s a low score. It won’t stop me going back in the future, but I won’t be shouting from the rooftops either.