Category Archives: Food

Sydney’s – Le Vendome Beirut

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Sydney’s is a luxurious lounge located at the last floor of Le Vendome Hotel in Beirut and offering a breathtaking view of the Mediterranean sea. I went there a few times a long while ago during my AUB years but I learned it reopened a week ago after a brief renovation period.

As you can see from the pictures, the view is amazing and the chairs look very comfortable, a perfect setting for a brunch, late lunch, early dinner or sunset drinks. Sydney’s open 24/7 so you could even head there for few cocktails before your party kicks off.

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As far as the food is concerned, I remember very well that their club sandwich was one of the best in town and it’s even better now. I loved the new kind of bread used and the presentation. Moreover, their selection of appetizers (Try the Spicy Tuna) and salads are really good and their steaks are prime Australian Wagyu steaks (expensive though as they start at 50$).

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Price-wise, Sydney’s is located in one of Beirut’s most luxurious hotels and is definitely not a place I would visit frequently to eat, but it’s a must-try if you want to have few cocktails late in the afternoon and enjoy a beautiful sunset.

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If you want to read more about Sydney’s or reserve, check their [Website].

Seventeen Lebanese housewives cooked lunch for 600 of the top chefs and foodies in the world


Khobez wou Milih (Souk El Tayeb @ MAD Symposium 2013)

That’s a pretty cool story.

Seventeen Lebanese housewives, united by the work that they do at Souk El Tayeb and Tawlet, were invited to cook lunch for 600 of the top chefs and foodies in the world during the annual food event of MAD Symposium in Copenhagen.

Thanks Pascale!

Two New Burger Joints in Beirut

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Marky’s: I’ve been hearing a lot about this place and specially their Poutine burger. I’ve been meaning to go but the place is in Sin el Fil, which is a bit far from me.

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Street Burger: This place opened recently in Gemmayze and has a 520g burger! I wish they upload some decent pictures on their Facebook page to see how these burgers look like but I like their concept so I am gonna give them a try. Their Animal Fries look delicious.

Hard Rock Cafe Beirut to close down on September 9

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I have some good memories from Hard Rock Cafe back when it opened and it was the place to be but for some reason, the concept never picked up in Lebanon. I visited Hard Rock Cafe a couple of years back and the food and service were decent but the place was totally empty. I don’t know if the location they picked was inadequate, but it’s a shame to see this place close down.

In fact and based on what they stated below, they are looking for a new spot to open in Beirut but I wouldn’t recommend they do that before things calm down.

STATEMENT – HARD ROCK CAFE BEIRUT

On September 9, 2013, Hard Rock Cafe Beirut, located at Bay View Hotel, Ein El Mreisseh, will close.

Since opening its doors in 1996, Hard Rock has enjoyed a rich history and has appreciated the opportunity to serve guests in Beirut.

Hard Rock International remains committed to growth and expansion in the region, and looks forward to finding a new site for a Hard Rock Cafe location within the city of Beirut. [HardRockCafe]

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Reserveout.com

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Reserveout is a web and mobile application that allows you to easily reserve with restaurants and bars that are part of its network. There are a lot of nice venues listed on the website and most of them have cool promotions. I already reserved and tried twice one of Couqley’s promotions (You get free desserts and a chance to win a trip to Paris for 2).

Once you book, the restaurant usually calls you to confirm the reservation and that’s about it. I thought free desserts meant just one at Couqley but all desserts are for free which is pretty cool.

There are a lot of other promotions that caught my attention, such as Tokyo’s Sunday Treat, St. Elmo’s Lobster Mania and Happy Hour, and La Estancia’s Live Open Grill.

Check it out [Here].

Wine Tasting At La Cave De Joël Robuchon

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Even though I love wine and drink it regularly, I don’t know much about wine tasting and I never pretended to do so to impress my date or anyone for that sake. When I am out and the waiter pours a small sample for me to taste, I would just ask him to fill up the glass.

Of course you learn with time to appreciate good wine bottles and distinguish them from cheap and commercial wines, but wine tasting is a whole different story and that’s what I realized at one of the tasting sessions that were held at La Cave De Joel Robuchon in Beirut Souks last week. I’ve had short and prompt wine tasting sessions before but this one was a long and thorough one and I absolutely loved it.

We basically sat on the bar and were given a brief overview on wine as a whole and then were taught the five basic steps to a proper wine tasting (Color, Swirl, Smell, Taste, Savor). We skipped the last step “Savor” as it’s a step you do after you become accustomed with the first four steps. Savoring the wine basically means talking about the wine and sharing it with friends, getting to know it better and evaluating the harmony between its various aspects.

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1- Look at the wine:
You basically tilt the glass and try to figure out the wine’s true color. It’s not as easy as it seems and you should hold the glass in front of a napkin or any white background. White wines tend to become deeper as they age while red wines tend to lose their intensity and their color gets a bit brownish. Once you know this rule, you could tell if you’re dealing with an old or young wine bottle.

2- Swirl the wine
Swirling the wine determines how much alcohol is in the wine, based on the “legs” formed inside. If you don’t know how to swirl (I don’t) and want to avoid spilling, place the glass on the table, hold it from the stem and make small circles. Look at the legs being formed and you’ll know how alcoholic is your wine. This has nothing to do with the wine’s quality though.

3- Sniff the wine
Swirling the wine is also useful in releasing the aromas and helping you smell it properly. There are two ways to smell the wine. You could either swirl it then stick your nose deep and take a big sniff, or hold your nose some 10-15cm away then let it go into the glass. That’s the trickiest part in the tasting for me as I couldn’t really identify the aromas I was smelling. In fact, it could vary from a grapefruit, green apples to dark chocolate, soil, cow or even poop smells.

4- Taste the wine
Once we got to the tasting part, I asked the person teaching us whether we had to spit the wine or not (I remembered one of Frasier’s episodes where he’s getting ready for a blind wine tasting competition and start spitting the wine after taking a sip). You don’t need to spit but professionals do that just so they don’t get drunk lol!

Anyway, the proper way to taste a wine is take a small sip, let the wine warm in your mouth for a few seconds, and try to figure out if what you’re tasting is a sweet, salty, bitter, meaty or earthy etc. You could also draw some air into your mouth, which would help liberate the aromas of the wine that you would detect with your nose. I found this useful link for those of you who are interested in knowing more about [Tasting].

We tasted one type of white wine and one type of red wine.

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You can learn more about La Cave de Joël Robuchon, also known as the Wine Library on their [Website] and check out their Facebook Page [Here], follow them on [Twitter] and [Instagram].

If you are interested in wine and want to know more about Lebanon’s best wines, I recommend you get the book “Zawaq“. They also post updates on new wines on their Facebook page that are worth checking.

Shake Shack and The Cheese Cake Factory Not Yet Open at the Beirut City Centre

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I tweeted Beirut City Centre asking them why Shake Shack didn’t open yet (Knowing that it was due to open in July) and I got the above answer. The Cheese Cake Factory is not open yet and from what I heard but can’t confirm, might not open before the end of the year.

I am not sure if it’s the bad situation that is causing these delays but I would have done the same given the critical phase Lebanon and the whole region are going through.

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Manousheh NYC

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Manousheh is a pop-up restaurant that sells Saj in New York. I always preferred Saj bread to the normal Manakish one but you need like 3 Saj wraps to be full. Tlamé is another type of bread that comes a bit thicker than Saj and is usually found in the North.

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Funny anatomy of a Manousheh:
Man-ou-sheh
Man: like “Oh, man!”
Ou: As in “Ooh Lala!”
Sheh: Like “Chef” without the f

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