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For the past decade or so, Al Halabi restaurant in Antelias has maintained its reputation for being one of the top ranking Lebanese restaurants in town. A restaurant with a history that has only developed positively with time. The owners, a man and his wife, have continuously made sure to be present on a daily basis to welcome guests as well as stay on top of things... This unique place which serves the best Lebanese food you can imagine, Al Halabi’s name has been written down in history with creations many others have copied…
On November 12, I visited Al Halabi, enjoyed the great food but was disappointed with the smoking issue. I decided to visit it again recently checking on the latest of my favorite Lebanese restaurant in town.
The place has been revamped. They have divided the restaurant in the middle with a curtain glass and have reconstructed what was once a garden into an outside smoking lounge. Everyone is now happy, Al Halabi got back its Arguile clientele, while the nonsmoking clients can come with their kids and enjoy good food in a safe smoke free environment.
The architectural details:
- Up the stairs is a new section on the left
- Waterfall on a bed of bamboo covered with thick glass
- Black outdoor chairs differentiate the space from the classy indoor wood ones
- Beige table cloths cover all tables
- A glass curtain separates the smoking area from the inside non smoking one
- Outside walls are painted in green and burgundy
- Rocks cover the main water cascade wall
- The Saj woman is now at the corner of the terrace producing live tasty bites
- Glass and metallic ceiling make the day light enter in style
Details I liked:
- Soft Lebanese classical music eases your senses
- They removed the small plate presented in almost all Lebanese restaurants. I hated it. We are now served directly in large ones
- Salt pepper and oil are directly available on the tables
The meal starts with 'termos', peanuts and green fresh almonds. The same for years that have always been tasty and special. The peanuts are salted and covered with their skin.
- Fattouch: lettuce, fried bread pieces, cucumbers, tomatoes, ba2le, thyme, pomegranate menaces. 15,000L.L
- A small vegetable platter: radishes, green onions, thyme leaves and green chilli (Offered for Free)
- A mixed pickles platter 7,500L.L
- Hommous 7,500L.L
- Stuffed vine leaves 7,500L.L
- Almonds 4,750 L.L (It's served without ordering)
- Moudardara 7,500L.L
- Black and green olives (Offered for Free)
- 4 pieces of sambousik 7,000L.L
- 4 pieces of kebbe 7,000L.L
- 4 pieces of cheese rolls 7,000L.L
- Makanek 14,000L.L
- Hommous with meat 12,000L.L
- Kama with meat and pine nuts 39,500L.L
- Mashed potatoes 7,500L.L
- Chicken liver with pomegranate molasses 12,500L.L
The Culinary Experience:
- Fattouch : I didn't like it all. Close to a disaster.Although I ordered it without garlic it was filled with it. It was too juicy, too watery and too lemony. Not the one I am used to having at Al Halabi
- A mixed pickles platter 7,500L.L ? We didn't order that! I thought it's offered free of charge!
- Hommous : Is really the best in town as I always repeat it
- Stuffed vine leaves : Yummy. I love those
- Almonds 4,750 L.L ! This is the first time I notice that they make us pay for those!
- Moudardara : Good as it always is
- Sambousik and Kebbe: Imagine how tasty they are. Soft with a little crunch and filled with premium minced meat
- Cheese rolls are generously filled, crunchy, non oily and super tasty
- Makanek: No Comment. Just try them
- Kama with meat and pine nuts: This was the first time I order this unique plate that enjoyed to the maximum although it's price is a bit scary. Understanding that Kama is a kind of Oriental truffles, 40,000L.L is somewhat justified: Many of the truffles consumed in the Arab world are found in the Syrian desert near the ancient site of Palmyra. Legend claims that the wild storms of the desert, particularly the thunder and lightening of the Palmyra district, account for the presence in quantity of this delicacy. Two kinds of truffles are marketed, the black and the white. The dark kama are considered the best.
- Mashed potatoes: is simple yet delicious
- Chicken liver with pomegranate molasses: Soft and tender, juicy and tasty
- Sugar syrup and honey
- Five different choices of compote fruits
- A fruit basket (bananas, apples, clementine)
- Kachta and katayef
- A glass bowl to cool the fruit and clean them
- Mespilus (Akidene)
Tonight I enjoyed a sumptuous meal, deliciously devoured and prepared with love as always. I want to thank the professional waiters (dressed in red) for really taking care of us with such a passionate attitude. A previously bad experience encountered has fast been erased from my memory. I have renewed my appreciation for Al Halabi which has been my favorite for many years.