Category Archives: Food

Burger King Campaign Explained

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bk1

The Burger King ads were finally explained tonight. As it turns out, BK Lebanon is launching a one of a kind 9-meter long food truck that will have the full BK menu and will tour Lebanon and be present at several events & even weddings.

The numbers referred to the area of Lebanon and the different regions. To be honest, I thought about that but I didn’t get the exact numbers on Google so I wasn’t sure. In all cases, I wasn’t the only one curious about this campaign so I guess it was a good one 🙂

“10452 branches in Keserwan”
“451 new branches in Keserwan”
“252 new branches in Matn”

Indigo on the Roof New Menu: Excellent Choices, Exquisite Desserts

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Indigo on the Roof is Le Gray Beirut‘s exclusive restaurant and one of my favorite spots in Beirut. I’ve been there countless times for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner and it has always been a pleasant experience. The restaurant is refined and offers delicious food, the staff is (almost) always friendly and professional, the service is great and welcoming and the panoramic views of Beirut are stunning.

A month ago, we were invited to try out Indigo on the Roof’s new menu with the arrival of Le Gray’s new Executive Chef Darren Andow, who has over 20 years of experience in the field and a particular passion for Lebanon (Thank u Google). That night, we basically tasted every single item on the menu in small portions and I was so impressed with the flavors that I went back a week ago for lunch to have a full meal and review properly the items I liked the most.

Seafood Platter

We were 4 people:

We ordered the seafood platter, the duck salad and the Burrata as starters. The seafood platter is rich and fresh, it contains oysters, shrimps, mussels and marinated calamari with a couple of dips. The duck salad and buratta were excellent, the seafood platter was good but I would have preferred ordering the grilled calamari over the marinated one. If you like fish and want to try something different (but less-healthy), go for the sesame crusted oysters.

Duck Salad

Buratta

As for the main dishes, we had the char-grilled veal chop served with portobello mushrooms, vine tomatoes and a Roquefort cream, the new Wagyu beef filet (marble score 7) with a bearnaise sauce and the truffle addict tagliatelle. The Wagyu beef filet was mouthwatering and amazing, just like all their steaks, I loved the veal chop as well and especially the sauce, and the tagliatelle is a great choice if you like truffles.

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Moving on to the desserts, I barely had the chance to taste them properly the first time as I was full from all the appetizers and dishes so I made sure I leave some room for dessert this time. We ordered the lemon grass crème brûlée, the classic lemon tart and the Valrhona chocolate fondant.

Le Gray’s desserts always leave me speechless. In fact, sometimes I pass by Gordon’s Cafe on the ground floor just to have their Pain Perdu. If I had to choose one dessert among the new items, it would be the lemon grass crème brĂ»lĂ©e.

chocolate fonddant

lemon

pain perdu

All in all, everything we ordered was perfect from presentation, to freshness and taste, just like you’d expect things to be at a five-star hotel. The portions were sized appropriately, not too big, not too small and we ended up paying around $70 per person without the wine. Indigo on the Roof is not a restaurant I can afford to visit frequently but it’s definitely worth the money you will pay!

For me, it’s an ideal place for a romantic night out, a family/business lunch or dinner or to celebrate a special occasion. Breakfast at Indigo is also highly recommended (try their Eggs-Benedict).

Rating: 4.5/5

Did Anyone Figure Out Burger King’s Ads?

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bk1

“10452 branches in Keserwan”
“365 new branches”
“451 new branches in Keserwan”
“252 new branches in Matn”

I tried mixing the numbers together, adding/subtracting them, it doesn’t make any sense. Does anyone know what this campaign is about? I’m curious to know now.

They should give away a prize to the person who figures it out because everyone I asked was clueless.

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teaser

Smoking Bun Opens in Hamra

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Yesterday the Smoking Bun guys called me to hand me an invitation for their new branch opening. When I went down to meet them, a fireman was there waiting for me with a small fire extinguisher labeled “Hamra on Fire” lol! They were also walking around Hamra stamping people to join them and “cool down the fire”.

Smoking Bun is my favorite street burger joint and is now open in Hamra near Mohammad Abdul Baki Street facing Hotel Cavalier. Its original branch is underneath Secteur in the middle of Mar Mikhail and it only offers one burger.

burger I had the double cheese burger yesterday 🙂

It’s small, simple, relatively cheap but its burger is fantastic and the fries are great as well. The meat is cooked medium (medium rare if you want to) and is covered with aged cheddar, the bun is tender and holds up nicely to the burger’s juices and it’s all topped with lettuce, tomato and pickles. The fries are not-too-crispy not-too-soft and come with a house sauce.

Smoking Bun is street food done right. The burger costs 12,000LL, the fries 5,000LL, beer is for 7,500LL and soda for 3,000LL.

You can check out my original review [here].

Hamra is SMOKING! Now open in Hamra #HamraOnFire #SmokingBun

Posted by Smoking Bun on Monday, April 4, 2016

New York-based Restaurant ilili: First Lebanese Restaurant To Receive The 5-Star Diamond Award

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ilili2

This is the first time I heard about that restaurant to be honest as I’ve never been to New York and the news may be a bit old but it’s definitely worth sharing especially that it got featured last week on Kalam Ennas.

ilili ilili is apparently Sofia Vergara’s favorite NY restaurant

ilili, which means “tell me” in colloquial Lebanese, is a Lebanese Restaurant founded and managed by Phillipe Massoud who’s also the executive chef. ilili has been open since 2007 and has won back in July 2014 the five star diamond award, one of the highest awards available in the world’s hospitality industry. The award is the highest given by the International Academy of Hospitality and Sciences, in recognition of excellence in the field of hospitality, quality, service and more.

ilili3 Lamb burger, topped with air cured beef and a kashkaval spread.

The restaurant offers traditional Lebanese dishes with a contemporary touch, such as Atayef & Veal Bacon, Duck Shawarma (duck magret & chicken, fig jam, green onion, garlic whip), Kale fattoush and Lobster hummus. It also has all the traditional mezza that any Lebanese restaurant would serve (Baba Ghannouj, Tabbouleh, Fattoush, Warak Enab etc ..)

Quoting its executive Chef Massoud, “It’s a New York restaurant for the New York market. In a sense we didn’t open it with the Lebanese in New York [in mind]. We opened it for the New Yorkers in New York.”

knefe Knefe bi Jebneh

The restaurant and the dishes look amazing and I love how passionate the Chef is about Lebanese cuisine and Lebanon. I’m definitely going there when I visit NY.

[YouTube]

PS: All pictures were taken from ilili’s page.

Valrhona Easter Contest 2016: Lebanese Pierre Abi Hayla Wins 1st Prize

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choco

Pierre Abi Hayla, from LE NOIR Atelier Du Chocolat, took part at the Valrhona Easter Contest 2016 and won the first prize. His Easter egg, “Egstrate” (Egg + strata which means geological layer), consists of seven layers of chocolate and includes Valrhona’s four colors (white, milk, dark and Dulcey).

valrhona

Valrhona is a French premium chocolate maker and is considered one of the best chocolate manufacturers on the planet. Valrhona focuses mainly on high-grade luxury chocolate marketed for commercial use by chefs as well as for private consumption. You can find Valrhona in high-end supermarkets in Lebanon.

eggs1 Eggs by Yoann Rolland (France) and Amanda Snouffer (USA)

If you are interested, check out the rest of the eggs submitted. They’re all handcrafted and are quite amazing!

Cancerous Wheat: Lebanon’s Food Safety Scandal Refuses To Go Away

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Health Minister Wael Abu Faour first states that wheat entering Lebanon failed to match safety standards, and that few samples contain cancer-causing substances, then Economy Ministry Alain Hakim comes out and says that the results Abu Faour are inaccurate and that the wheat is safe. Minister Abu Faour replies back that the Economy ministry’s testing methods were “outdated and could no longer be relied on”, before Agriculture Minister Akram Chehayeb intervened and reconciled both parties. They later on agreed to develop an action plan that ensures the safety and quality of wheat entering Lebanon.

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It’s good to see ministers work together in health-related issues , but what happened to the cancerous wheat units that were found by Minister Abu Faour? If he’s confident that some of the samples did not comply with safety measures, then where are they and why weren’t they confiscated? How will referring the wheat file to the General Prosecutions going to stop people from getting poisoned by this rotten wheat? Is Minister Abu Faour’s food safety campaign working or not?

Personally speaking, I don’t think Lebanon’s food safety scandal will end anytime soon because the way it’s being handled is wrong. The real problem has always been slaughterhouses and food storage yet what’s happening now is far worse as there are more and more violating restaurants (Dkekeen) opening and there’s no control over them anymore because the follow up process is not clear and the standards are not well defined.

All in all, the wheat scandal will be forgotten soon just like other scandals but the cancerous wheat is still in the market and Lebanese citizens are the only victims.

Zaatar Man2oushe For 250LL is Back At Ghalayini Hamra

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ghalayini via Bairoute

Snack Ghalayini is a cheap and popular snack in Hamra that used to sell the Zaatar Man2oushe for 250LL and the Cheese Man2oushe for 750LL years ago. Apparently the snack has decided to bring back the old price for a limited period of time starting March 14. I never enjoyed Ghalayini, not only because it’s dirty, but because his Manakish are not good. Fayssal and National Bakeries on Bliss Street are much better.

I didn’t mind going to those cheap snacks back in the old days but I would never do it now. Two of my favorite snacks were Anthony in Sin el Fil (Cheese Hotdog Sandwich) and Khoury (Lebanese hamburgers) in Jdeideh.

Celebrating Mother’s Day in Lebanon: Two Heartwarming Videos

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mother

Here are two heartwarming videos on the occasion of Mother’s day done by TheSpot mall and Divvy.

1- #Shta2tellikMom: A son surprises his mother after living abroad for 6 years:

Best Mother’s Day surprise ever! By The Spot Lebanon #shta2tel…

Best Mother’s Day surprise ever! By The Spot Lebanon

Posted by The Spot Lebanon on Thursday, March 17, 2016

2- Divvy teamed up with a group of friends to serve their mothers on Mother’s day:
mom

I would have loved to take part in that initiative but I wasn’t able to unfortunately. The idea was very creative and the video turned out to be awesome. It’s funny how some of the parents didn’t recognize their sons and daughters at first glimpse and their reaction was truly priceless when they did. Thumbs up to Divvy and the Uf Concepts guys!

DIVVY's Mother's Day

What if on Mother’s day you were the one serving your mom?

Posted by Divvy on Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Proper Way To Detox

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lemall Detox Juice Stand At Le Mall Sin el Fil

Even though detox or “cleansing” diets are becoming more and more popular in Lebanon, I was never really tempted to try one. I’ve read a lot of articles on detox diets and the sure thing is you cannot detox your system just like that because that’s not how things work and mainly because your body is already getting rid of toxins no matter what you eat or do. There’s no secret recipe or detox wonders that will do a better job than your own body, and that’s why you should approach this whole detox thing differently in my opinion.

I was at LeMall Dbayyeh last week when I spotted a detox stand offering super fruits, or in other terms healthier and more nourishing cold-pressed juices with no additives, for customers to taste. The stand is a collaboration between LeMall and Succo Beirut, which is a place that I recommend for healthy snacks and fresh juices. Their carrot-walnut bread cake is really good and I love their granola bowls. They also have delicious energy balls that come filled with dates and almonds.

Of course it’s always good to see malls in Lebanon promote a healthy lifestyle but awareness is very important when it comes to detox diets and I’m glad there was a detox specialist at the juice stand to explain detox to customers and answer their questions because there’s a lot of ambiguity and confusion around this issue. I asked her myself few questions and her approach, which I agree with, was to promote a healthy eating rather than introduce detox diets to lose weight quickly.

Detoxing shouldn’t be about cleaning your body or losing weight quickly because you could be harming yourself in the process and you’ll likely just gain those kilos back really quick. Personally speaking, the only type of detox diet that is worth trying is one that follows a strict clean-eating approach, whereas you avoid processed and sugary foods and replace them with healthy options. Also, if you consume alcohol or desserts heavily, you could detox from these two only for a while and shops like Succo Beirut or Fresh Healthy Cafe (I love that place!) could help out by offering fresh juices and healthy snacks.

All in all, there are tons of articles out arguing about the benefits of detox and whether it works or not. I believe it all goes back to what every person wants but I highly recommend that you talk to a specialized person before trying any of these diets. The stand will be at Sin el Fil this week till Sunday so go check it out and ask questions if you have any.

wheatgrass
Would you try a wheatgrass juice?