For someone who chose not to go into the restaurant business when it would have been the most obvious career path to pick, I have ended up spending a large part of my adult life noting and filing away ideas on the little tricks and touches that would go into my dream restaurant.
This has ranged from furniture, to ideas for unusual coasters - obviously the food and drinks - menu concepts, crockery, stemware, promotional stunts, etcetera, etcetera.
But yesterday I came across the best ever presentation of a bill and business card I think I've ever seen.
The restaurant in question - Mayrig Dubai, the quaint UAE avatar of the famous Armenian restaurant in Gemmayzeh, Beirut. After an excellent meal, largely made up of vegetarian kebbe - the likes of which I'd never tried before (more below) - we were presented the bill in a little Armenian granny's purse... complete with a little picture of an Armenian granny in it.
Best of all, if you flipped the card over you'd find all the details you'd need to lead you straight back to Mayrig :)
The presentation of the bill was a nice finale, but what preceded it was pretty spectacular too.
Top of my list were the Patatesov Keufteh, potato kebbe stuffed with onion, walnuts and parsley. I never could have imagined vegetarian kebbe could taste so good. Another vegetarian surprise was Itch - Armenian tabbouleh made with tomato and burghul - and lentil kibbe. It seems Christian Armenians have a real knack for creating really delicious vegetarian versions of meaty Middle Eastern favourites to tide them through the season of Lent. I think I'd happily spend Lent in Armenia if I was ever given the chance... I hear the old churches there are really pretty too :)
The non-vegetarian dishes were equally delicious - the cherry kebab (finally in Dubai!), mante and raw meat kibbe definitely got a thumbs up from me... especially as the restaurant obliged our request for an extra bowl of that delicious cherry sauce :)
I think Armenia has definitely shot up my list of countries I have to eat in.
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