CHECK OTHER REVIEWS FOR THIS PLACE:
Al-Halabi, Antelias: Mistakes Happen for a Reason
Al Halabi: A Revamped Look... Same Old Taste
Al Halabi: As Good as Always
Al Halabi Lebanese Restaurant, Antelias
Al Halabi: A Restaurant to Make You Fall in Love with Lebanese Food
Al Halabi: New Decor, New Staff and The Same Great Taste!
This isn't just any restaurant. It's a place that serves the finest Lebanese food in Lebanon and probably in the world. It's a restaurant where details are taken care of...table napkins made of fine fabric, two big plates, salted nuts, termoss and the same waiters that have been serving us for years.
It's about details, the big arak glasses, maitre Michel and some really good food. Last time I was here was in March 2015 and since then I've been dreaming of those real, rich Lebanese flavors.
It's about a beautiful and colorful vegetable plate that will make your mouth water. Premium olive oil and generous portions. It's about everything that's makes this restaurant a must visit and my Coup de Coeur year after year.
Writing one more review will spoil the enjoyment, so let me have a pleasant dinner for my birthday tonight while I invite you to visit Al Halabi and explore this excellent Lebanese restaurant for yourself.
The same orders again and again, those I crave a month after month. Hummus, the real deal, another with diced meat, stuffed vine leaves, the thick fried potatoes and much more all served with live-baked Saj bread.
Stuffed vine leaves like you've never tasted before, using the thinnest and most tender vines ever, with a strong lemony flavor, tabbouleh that literally melts under your teeth with its sauce while the head waiter shouts, "Prepare the heart of the lettuce for our guests". Another waiter cuts the tomato and sprinkles it with sumac.
Thick goat Labneh served in a cylindrical fashion on a plate decorated with vegetables. Hummus with meat is my favorite of all, the meat with the fried pine nuts together create the simplest yet tastiest of dishes. The fries have been the same since I was 12 years old; those thick, hand-cut fries with a light crisp, a yellow color and just enough salt to make them delicious.
Makanek, lightly brown floating in pomegranate molasses, a very thin envelope and a tender heart, delicious. The chicken liver is not to be missed; tender and light, they are filled with great flavor and leave a pleasant aftertaste in the mouth. The mouhammara is covered with sesame; that's the only thing I'd improve by making it less watery and less purée-like. The light crunch of the walnuts is enjoyable.
Fried sambousik, cheese rolls and kebbeh. Rare is the place that does these well. Crunchy, fresh, fully loaded, a premium quality and no oily residue. I love them.
This Lebanese table is surely beautiful. Colorful plates, a unique service and little details that make lunch or dinner more of an experience rather than a ritual. Al Halabi takes it to the highest level of professionalism while preserving authenticity and tradition.
After the cold and hot appetizers make sure to order the kabab khechkhach. Three kebab skewers floating in their spicy red tomato juice. Extremely tender and juicy, melting diced tomatoes... this is a recommended dish.
A Lebanese dinner is not complete without fruit. The world's only cuisine that offers you fruit after you have finished your meal. Proudly Lebanese, the Mouhallabiya, jam selection and fruit are all great.
I'm still in love with this place. A real Lebanese experience, unique food and superb flavors, Al Halabi it always is.