Long, long ago, in country far, far away in the Middle East, there lived a king by the name of Shahryar who was know far and wide for his kindness and his love for his beautiful wife. During a hunting trip, he forgot to bring his night vision binoculars. He commanded his entourage to carry on, while he slipped back into the castle unannounced to retrieve his binoculars.
As he made his way to his bed chambers, he heard moans of pleasure emanating from within, intertwined with strains of Kenny G. "WTF?", he thought to himself. "Such cheesy music does not blend with my Philip Starke ensemble in my room!" and ran inside. To his horror, his wife was lying on his Philip Starke "Miss You" bed and lying next to her on the 1000 thread count Egyptian Cotton sheets was his naked gardener. "I hate foreign labour!", he shouted and set off to decapitate both his wife and his gardener before setting fire his Bang and Olufsen audio system that has been permanently tainted by the kitschy elevator music.
From then on, he went on a murderous rampage. Mind you, that was the time when kings held absolute political and moral power, and the concept of constitutional monarchy has not passed the stage of a developing sperm. Nope, no jealous, megalomanic politicians who wished that they could hold absolute power themselves, darned NGOs with nosy academicians to question the morals and ethics of a ruler, none of those irritating party poopers at all.
He would demand that his Vizier hunt for a virgin from his kingdom every day for him to marry. And while his bride was lying on his Starke "Miss You" bed, he will decapitate them as he recalls his own wife's trysts on the bed. He hunted with the vengeance of a virologist after the Influenza A H1N1 virus, and soon, there were no more virgins in the kingdom. The girls have all submitted to the demands of their boyfriends to escape the curse of being a headless virgin.
The Vizier was threatened to be the Sultan's next bride if he could not produce a virgin for the Sultan that night. Technically speaking, the Vizier at the age of 62, was still a virgin as he has never been defiled before. And all the other court officials who were jealous of him produced medical reports from proctologists to the Sultan to prove that the Vizier was indeed pure. Furthermore, there was no proposition 8 as in California to hinder same sex marriages.
The Vizier's daughter Scheherezade, was a bright spark, armed with a PPE degree from Oxford. She saw that her father was distressed. Unfortunately she suffered from hypertrichosis and needs daily waxing. Men found hairy stubbles all over her body disgusting, and she was not able to find anyone to deflower her. She offered to take over as the virgin bride, and the Vizier, being a seasoned politician who would do anything to keep his hold on power, had no qualms sacrificing his daughter. "After all, it is for the good of the country as the country still needs me", he rationalised to himself, quoting the most abused phrase in Political Philosophy.
After the ceremony, the bride, sensing some bad "chi" from the bridal chamber, suggested that the Sultan go out for some food outside the castle. She had secretly enggaged a Feng Shui Master to enter the Chambers to do a quick consult as soon as the Sultan had left with her.
She suggested to the Sultan to go to Al Bait (which means home in Lebanese) and the Sultan agreed, because he did not know that the restaurant's name was Home.
The Sultan loved the exterior, which actually looks like a home. Lots of low tables with Pillows thrown around for that homely feel. "I need to get their ID man", he thought to himself.
The restaurant was painted in a warm, orange colour and filled with books and other knick knacks that gave it a very pleasant ambiance.
They serve Authentic Lebanese Coffee here which is served from a long handled coffee pot. Unfortunatey, the coffee was not good, and he ordered mint tea to replace it. Used to drinking strong Turkish Tea and Coffee, both beverages failed to impress the Sultan.
The Sultan was relaxed in the h0me like environment, and decided to stay for some food. Clearly, Scheherazade's plans were working.
She ordered Tabouleh, which is Diced Parsley Salad, with Burgh Wheat, Mints, Onion and Tomatoes. It came drizzled with Lemon dressing and Olive Oil. It was very refreshing and zesty. The Tangy taste of the dressing mixed with the chopped herbs, quelled the Sultan's murderous rage.
For mains, Scheherezade ordered Shish Tawook, which was grilled Chicken cubes. It was moist and succulent. The marinade was slightly sourish, adding to the appeal of the dish. "Fries? Fries???", the Sultan asked. "Globalization!", Scheherezade answered cheekily, not being able to provide a logical reason for the presence of fries in a Lebanese Dish. The Sultan let matters be, as he was distracted by the tasty chicken.
Hommos Bairuti. Chick Peas (Blended) with Sesame Tahini (not evident here) with lemon, garlic and olive oil. It came served with fresh Pita Bread. The sultan loved the Hommos (or Hummus) at al Bait which tasted yummy with pita bread.
For Dessert, Scheherezade ordered some Chocolate Sez, which is Baklava coated with still warm and creamy chocolate. Through out dinner, Scheherezade enchanted the Sultan with stories and fables, the enchanted restaurants of Ramsay and Olivier, Michelin Star sushi restaurants in Tokyo.
Expectantly, the Sultan was enthralled and spared her for the night and made her promise to take him out somewhere else for dinner the next night.
*Story plagiarized from 1001 nights, the story is fictional and any similarity to anyone els, dead or alive is purely coincidental and a figment of the reader's imagination.