Nestled on a hill in Rass Masqa, just outside Tripoli, is Al Shater Hassan, a restaurant many have been talking about for years. Al Shater Hassan is considered to be one of the North’s most prestigious restaurants; serving Lebanese mezze, seafood specialities, shisha and arak.
With a view over the Mediterranean Sea, this restaurant is huge. Under a five-meter high ceiling, it is referred to as a palace. There are glass tables with luxurious chairs around them, set with paper place mats, water and wine glasses. The ceiling is painted beige, there is a glass facade for you to enjoy the view, large ceramic tiles cover the floor and decorative marbles and a gigantic chandelier give this place a palatial feel. I was happy to be having dinner here... The first impression was a great one.
As we arrived, a breadbasket was brought to us and a glass bottle of water. I was positively surprised to discover that garlic and onions are not used abundantly in every dish. Hummus without garlic, fattoush without onions… and more.
We ordered a bottle of Brun Arak and waited to be served.
Now for the food: average...
- Goat Labneh is literally tasteless.
- Stuffed grapevine leaves need more lemon and are in dire need of more flavor.
- Fattoush is fresh but is spoiled by very sour and salty pomegranate molasses. I couldn't finish my portion.
- Hummus made without garlic is not bad at all. Creamy and smooth, it's beautifully paired with kebbeh or sambousik.
- Samkeh 7arra: as good as the one at Abou Fadi.
- Hummus Al Shater has too much tahini.
- Sambousik is well cooked but the pastry is stale.
- Cheese triangles have an aftertaste of oil.
- Grilled birds wrapped in bread are too tiny and taste bitter.
- The only plate I'd order again is the delicious makanek in tomato sauce; juicy and perfectly peppered with an intense taste of spices.
- The meat came last; lamb meat, fatty and surprisingly tender but unfortunately too salty.
After dinner, we were offered a platter of fruits, katayef, mafroukeh and mouhallabiya. Desserts are definitely better than the dinner itself.
- With such opulent decor, paper place mats are not appropriate.
- More passion should be poured into the food.
- I'm not sure putting serving spoons on the plates helps us to take nice photos to share on social media.
- Dessert plates look and feel dirty.
I walked in with high expectations... The service is good but the food is below average. I really would have liked to recommend this place to my friends.