This past Friday, I headed to Temiras Coffee Garden to catch up with a friend. It's located on General Mathenge Drive, previously where Le Rustique used to be. Having been a fan of Le Rustique over the years, I was shocked to find that it wasn't the same place that I once knew. However, I was excited once I realised that they served Lebanese food, a new favourite, and so planned to go as soon as I could.
Friday afternoon, around 1:30 pm found me at Temiras, eagerly waiting to see what the place would hold. For a day so close to the weekend at lunch time, the restaurant was strangely empty; at the time I arrived, I was the only customer there, and by the time my friend and I were leaving at around 3:00 pm, there were only a few others. This may be due to Temiras' 'newness', and the loyalty that previous customers had to Le Rustique.
Temiras' menu consists of pages in pockets put together in a leather cover. The cover was interesting, but I would hope that such a place would offer a menu that looked more put together.
On the drink side, Temiras offers a wide variety. Strangely enough though, wine is not on the menu, but various other alcoholic beverages are. I ordered a passion juice (a personal favourite), and was relieved to find that Temiras was not a place that added sugar to fresh juices and absolutely ruined them.
While the place still offers English breakfast and a variety of coffees the way that its predecessor used to, the Lebanese is definitely a welcome addition. While I was tempted by many dishes, I ordered the shish taouk (of course). While it was very different from the tawook I had at Epice in Nashville many months ago, it was quite delicious and well portioned. The chicken was well marinated and soft, and wasn't overwhelmed by any one flavour. The only part of the dish that confused me and left me wanting was the accompaniment of chips (french fries for those of you across the ocean). With such a flavourful main dish, serving plain chips seemed to let down the course a little bit. Garlic chips or herbed roasted potatoes would have been a much better choice!
My friend ordered some hummus which I tried, and the pita bread that came with this was deliciously soft. The hummus itself was good; not exceptional, but certainly something I would order again.
The place seemed a little pricey for having so few customers, but this might just have been circumstantial. The service was polite, though it could have been friendlier. Again, this may have been due to a lack of many customers, and maybe our server in particular.
All in all, Temiras was a pleasant experience in a very convenient location, and I definitely plan to return! It might take a few trips before I can sample the different varieties the menu offers, but I'm not complaining.