I was fortunate to receive a pre-opening invite to have lunch at Pier 78, Lebanese cuisine with a seafood twist in the newly opened Kempinski Summerland Hotel & Resort in Beirut. Since I had only been to Kempinski at night, I was excited to explore the resort by day and taste some of the Pier 78 menu.
I headed to Pier 78 on Sunday with a couple of friends and sat inside. Our indoor table had a view overlooking the sea on one side and the hotel on the other side. The outdoor area was even nicer, especially the rooftop bar with a stunning view. Pier78 is located right on the water and it’s a beautiful place to have a sunset drink, go out for lunch with the family. I’m not sure about romantic dinners though because Lebanese food is not very typical of romantic dinners.
As far as the food is concerned, the restaurant offers a good variety on a small menu and has plenty of specialties worth trying. Since this was a first visit, I will share some of the dishes we tried and whether I enjoyed them or not. Hopefully, I will be back soon for a visit and write a more thorough review.
Cold & Hot Mezza
Cold Mezza: We ordered Tabbouleh, Fattoush, Moutabbal and the Octopus Carpaccio.
The Tabbouleh (chopped parsley, tomato, onion, Bezreh) was good, Hummus and Moutabbal were also good. The Fattoush came with grilled Calamari and was delicious. The Octopus Carpaccio (Fresh octopus cooked & sliced, served with coriander garlic sauce) looked much better than it tasted.
Hot Mezza: We ordered the Shrimp & Octopus Provençal, Fried Calamari, Mix Hot Mezza and Shrimp & Fish Kebbe Fatteh.
The Shrimp & Octopus Provençal tasted fresh and were delicious. I didn’t try the fried Calamari. The Shrimp & Fish Kebbe Fatteh was just perfect; a mixture of eggplant, shrimp, fish with a garlic yoghurt sauce, coriander and crispy bread. The Fatteh is a must-have!
Pier 78 offers five different main courses which include a Lebanese mix grill (kafta, meat & taouk) but we didn’t feel like chicken or meat so we ordered fried & grilled fish. I didn’t taste the fried fish but my friends loved it. The grilled fish (whole seabass) took some time to be served but it was delicious.
Dessert is served complimentary with white coffee (and Loukoum) and consists of mini cups of Mouhallabiyye, Meghle and boiled wheat grains. Add to that a basket of fruits. I enjoyed most of the mini cups but I wish they had a proper menu for desserts and a specialties to choose from. I think it would make a great addition to the menu.
All in all, it was a delicious, satisfying and light lunch. You are full but you don’t feel bloated after lunch which is never the case at most Lebanese restaurants. The venue is really nice, the atmosphere was great and the staff was very well-trained and friendly. Price-wise, you end up paying around 40-50$ per person which is a reasonable price.
If you have kids, there’s a beautiful sandy beach right next to the restaurant where you can take your kids to play and a nearby pool with slides for children as well (during the summer of course).