A midweek visit to Maroush found the basement space quiet – perhaps understandable as this branch, with music and belly dancing every night, is known for its party vibe. But that doesn’t explain the absence of the comforting rituals of Lebanese dining, nor the desultory service. Things were off from the start: gone was the bowl of fresh salad veg, the discs of bread served warm and puffy, the attentive service. Instead there was cold, flaccid paper-thin flatbread and olives. Sparkling water was dumped on the table with no glasses. However, the food was competently prepared, and it was clear that the well-regarded Maroush chain hasn’t lost its touch with the classics: houmous was dense and nutty; tabouleh was fresh; fuul was OK, though presented in slapdash style, with no herbs or dip in the middle filled with olive oil. Maroush kalaj (warmed halloumi cheese in arabic bread) arrived less than lukewarm. It was removed without much enthusiasm (or apology) and returned warmer. In all, the meal was rather disheartening. Perhaps the management concentrates only on the entertainment at this branch; or perhaps it was simply an off night. We hope our experience was an exception rather than the rule.