Last night we went with some friends to The Globe Lounge and Restaurant. I had bought 3 Cobones for 79 SR each normally would be 149SR. We arrived at The Sultan Mall about 6.50pm which was very quiet, most of the shops were closed. I had wondered why the person I spoke to on the phone said come at 6.50pm and be on time. Well we soon found out why.
The Globe is very popular and frequented by Saudi’s. It’s not surprising as it has a unique experience that one can enjoy. The Globe consist of many different rooms all with a different theme. There is an African area, a pirate ship, european rooms, arabic rooms, moroccan… They all have a wonderful ambience of their own. The atmosphere is very friendly and lively.
We were taken to a European room with a large table and comfortable chairs. On the table was a beaten metal tagine with dates inside. We were served Arabic coffee in small cups. I particularly love this coffee. It is a misnomer because it isn’t coffee as such, it is a tea mixture with herbs and spices, particularly cardamon which gives it a refreshing taste.
After about ten minutes the waiter came up to us and said “the buffet is now open.” We continued to talk when another waiter said “the buffet is open.” We sat a little longer only to have another waiter come up and he said” COME the buffet is open.” At this stage we weren’t sure of what the urgency was all about, but thought, Oh well, we better go and get something.
Well there was people everywhere. After all it is Ramadan! This is the meal that breaks their fast for the day. It is also the first time that they can drink anything, having gone all day without water. You could feel the hunger and thirst in the air as they went from dish to dish putting wonderful aromatic dollops of spicy rice, fish, seafood, samboosa, lamb dishes, beef dishes, salads… on their plates. There was a lot of food at the buffet.
I made my way to the soup, it was a creamy mushroom (which by the way was absolutely delicious.) I also got some of the samboosa, the flavours were nothing like I have tasted before. So yummy!!! We sat down and ate what we had. Then I thought I will go and get some of the other dishes. When I got there, it was only men getting their food, I had forgotten about about this. Often men and women are served separately. When we first went it was families. Anyway I looked around and could see that just about all the food was gone, which was incredible as it had only been 10 minutes since I had eaten my soup. The waiter looked at me and sort of looked a bit uncomfortable that I was there, so I got a plate and jokingly said “nevermind, I will put the plate in front of my face so that they can’t see me.” He smiled and I proceeded to get food in amongst the men. Most of them didn’t even notice me as they were busy filling their plates. The ones that did I just said, “just pretend I am not here.”(in my blue/green abaya) They didn’t seem to care which was good. Once I had what I wanted I went back and ate and chatted with our friends.
When we had finished eating we got up for dessert. Well it was all but GONE! There was a few bits of watermelon and about 8 Kunafa sweets left and omani which taste similar to a bread and butter pudding, only it is made from semolina, very moorish. So we salvaged what we could then went back and ate our sweets.
All of a sudden The Globe went very quiet as everyone had finished their meal and left. It is one of the cultural things here. Saudi’s go for a meal and start with dates and arabic coffee, during this time they chat and catch up. Then they eat. Once they have finished they leave. Normally they would have the dates and coffee continuously for a while, 1-3 hours before their meal, however it is Ramadan so there is no time to chat much because fasting this week ends at 7.10pm. All they want to do is eat and drink to break the fast. We were the last to leave. Some people were smoking the shisha which looks quite funny seeing people suck on these pipes.
So it was an interesting night, the service was great and the food was superb. One of the African women showed me around all the different rooms. A really good concept, “The Globe” in Jeddah is reputed to be the largest restaurant in the Kingdom. Something very different and unique. For anyone wanting to go, here are the details. Highly recommend it.
The Globe – Jeddah
Prince Sultan St, Roundabout
next to ship round about
Sultan Mall, near Extra store entrance
1st floor turn left walk to the end
Ph: 054 666 7686