Issue No.
172, August 2012 Latest update 9 2014f August 2014, at 4.39 am
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     My Restaurant Experience

Orjuwan Lounge
By The Phantom Diner
When I think about my experience at Orjuwan Lounge two words come to my mind: versatility and innovation. As a Ramallah local, and an avid diner, I have visited Orjuwan countless times since its opening in 2009. I have had the privilege to experience its welcoming Sunday brunches, its quiet midweek dinners, and its vibrant Thursday-night crowd. Each of these experiences fulfills a different part of your wining and dining needs by arousing your taste buds, providing a romantic atmosphere, or empowering your sociability. This versatility makes Orjuwan a place that everyone who has the means must visit. However, it is the innovation in each and every culinary work of art it serves that keeps me coming back. The Mediterranean-inspired gourmet cuisine, with its touches of brilliance from different parts of the world, are a source of pride for the owners of Orjuwan, who, along with their wait staff, welcome you with a warm smile.

The old, but renovated, building presents you with four sitting options to choose from, including the chic outside garden area, the inside room with a hardwood floor and fireplace that creates a cosy cottage feel, the bar area that accommodates a fun standing crowd, and the lounge area with its floor-to-ceiling glass windows that offers a more relaxed and intimate setting.

The ambiance is relaxing and not so dim that you can’t read the menu. I have found that the music is almost always relaxing and conducive to a fine dining experience. Oftentimes a cover version of a classic hit is playing in the background.

While some describe it as pretentious, I find the food refreshingly innovative! Orjuwan’s food is ambitious and challenging, but not over the top. The presentation is flawless and there is a wide selection of appetisers, salads, and main courses with a healthy section to cater to the more health-conscious eater. There are a few desserts that vary in sweetness and quality, but you can never go wrong with a molten chocolate volcano and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The food portions range from small to medium in size, but I often order a focaccia for starters and I am always full by the end of my meal. The calzone, which is stuffed with spinach and shrimp, and the chicken salad are two of my personal favourites.

The waiters at Orjuwan are almost always alert and check on you often. At the same time, they don’t smother you by coming to your table too often, ruining your attempts to maintain a coherent conversation with your lady friend.

Finally, while it is one of my favourite places in Ramallah, Orjuwan is not for everyone. While Orjuwan can be heavy on the pocket, the menu features a wide enough selection of food and drinks where one might be able to find more pocket-friendly items, although that is also subjective. One must realise though that when you are at Orjuwan, you are paying for impeccable taste, effortless presentation, majestic ambiance, and outstanding service.

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