January 08, 2015 Beirut Lebanon Middle East

Babel Bay: A Flavorful Story Behind a Great Restaurant

Phone Number: +961 1 370 846

Address: Zaitunay Bay, Beirut Waterfront, Lebanon

Website: http://www.nogarlicnoonions.com/babel-dbayeh/

Price Range: 40-65 $

Babel Bay Babel Bay
4.25 out of 5 based on 1 professional review.

RATING:85/100

Welcoming: 4/5

Food Temperature: 8/10

Ambiance / Music: 9/10

Menu Choice: 3/5

Food Taste: 27/30

Architecture / Interior: 9/10

Food presentation: 8/10

Service: 9/10

Value for money: 8/10

CHECK OTHER REVIEWS FOR THIS PLACE:
Babel Bay: Your Reason to Visit the Zaitunay Waterfront

I love the name, love the brand and enjoy their food, and wherever I visit them, be it in Beirut, Dbayeh or Amchit, the experience is always positive.

It was my second visit to Babel on the bay, a restaurant serving Lebanese seafood with a twist of sophistication and class. A large selection of signature items, the Fatteh with shrimp, seafood baklava… their food is created to amaze, so I couldn't wait to relive the experience.

Reach Zaitunay Bay, park underground then take a right and walk a couple of meters to reach Babel Bay. Just next to Cappuccino, this unique Lebanese seafood restaurant with a twist welcomes you for lunch and dinner in a beautiful setup and a great ambiance.

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Tonight's experience was more than perfect. 

You enter into a grandiose setup of huge stone blocks where a reconstruction of Beirut's waterfront skyline decorates the place - a stunning first impression. This skyline is so well done that car headlights follow the buildings from side to side, making the setup feel so real. Dining under those buildings reminds you that Beirut has been rebuilt more than half a dozen times and that Babel will be taking you to the roots, to the origins, where real Lebanese food was created.

The interior details: 

  • A terrace with parasols is always fully booked and full of locals and tourists. Inside is a reminder of Babel Dbayeh: Stone blocks and metallic columns.
  • A high ceiling is covered with stars that shine all night long.
  • A reconstruction of Beirut's skyline covers the walls.
  • An impressive creation, straight lines of lights hang from the ceiling, ensuring every table is perfectly lit.
  • Large blocks of stone take you back to the age of biblical Babel.
  • A couple of metallic columns make you feel like you're traveling on a ship.
  • In the middle of the restaurant is a cigar display featuring a large choice of brands.
  • The drinks bar on the right side is filled with world renowned, premium brands.
  • On the left is a large mirror, perfectly clean, which makes the place look twice as big.
  • Light green ceramic plates decorate all the tables.
  • Thin wine glasses and brown table napkins add a needed touch of class.

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Dinner started with a selection of bites offered for the customer's satisfaction. Mixed premium nuts, not just any nuts, warm nuts as if they had just been baked. The signature pickled Zaatar, salted pumpkin seeds, a dip of mixed diced vegetables with olive oil and green olives served with a homemade special selection of hot bread. White or squid ink bread, both just great.

The menu: 

  • Babel's Formula Display 
  • Salads 
  • Cold Mezza 
  • Raw Fish 
  • Hot Mezza 
  • Fruits, Desserts

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The food: 

  • Fattouch is served with fried dumplings, calamari and shrimp. A new approach to our authentic Lebanese salad
  • Hara Bayroutieh: Grilled fish served with an assortment of hot peppers, tomatoes and onions is finger licking good 
  • Fattet Shrimps: Eggplant, laban, shrimp, garlic, fried bread, pine nuts. A firm, full-bodied laban, that ties this blend of tasty ingredients all together. Wow! 
  • Spicy Potatoes: Something we all know and as good as you would expect it to be.
  • Mafrouket Tajen: A mixture of sesame paste, onions, thyme, raisins and mixed nuts. I loved the different textures and interesting flavors found within.
  • Creative and tasty Kebbet Samak with Octopus: One of my favorite dishes that night. 
  • I'm really speechless. I'm lost for words to describe how good the food is. Seafood Baklava: This was a masterpiece. An awesome and mouthwatering creation, which makes me want to come again and again just to taste this fairy tale dish. Imagine our famous baklava, lightly sweet, rolled piece-by-piece, and filled with salty seafood. A crunchy feel from the outside and a certain softness on the inside that blend together to create a unique plate that could represent Lebanon in any international culinary competition. Imagine eating a savory baklava, it just works!
  • Grilled Octopus: I honestly believe they lacked flavor and body. The texture is missing, maybe a hint of ground pepper is needed, a feeling... Too dull for such a plate.
  • Pickled Tuna: Pickled sardines in olive oil served with green thyme and garlic. Purple colored sardines served in a lemon sauce and decorated in mint leaves. Flavorful, but unfortunately dry, it should be marinated more and cooked less.

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  • Hummos, what a Hummos, a creative piece of art! A smooth paste of passionate wonders mixed with lemon and olive oil carved around perfectly cooked chickpeas. Served warm, the Hummos is surely on my Top 10 list of Hummos dishes in Lebanon and, most importantly, it's garlic free so you feel each and every one of the ingredients.
  • Fries: How should I describe a plate of fries? Thick, large and long fries, seasoned with a pinch of salt, lightly crunchy with a golden, mouthwatering color and a soft tender heart. Fries are simply fries? Think again.
  • As good as the Hummos, the baba ghannouj is also very tasty.

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The great stuff: 

  • Soft, Arabic music plays discretely in the background 
  • The waiters are just wow. Just grab any plate and you find, in a split second, two or three waiters are running to help you. 
  • All the staff, without exception, know the menu by heart. Every question about the food and ingredients was answered perfectly.
  • The cutlery was changed four times. Fork, knives and plates were all replaced every 30 minutes. 
  • After dinner, hot napkins are individually served on a small dessert plate! Uff! Indescribable.

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Dessert:

  • Dinner ended with two plates of fresh fruits including apples, kiwis, strawberries and pears, all offered on the house and served beautifully on a banana leaf. Another plate of mixed jams was there to please all your senses: Pumpkin, dates, figs and bitter orange. 
  • Tamriyeh: Pain d'epices, almond ice cream, tamer. Spices on a spongy dough, a rich, flavorful ice cream and chewy tamer paper decorated with walnuts. The ashta w ashta is still my favorite dessert at Babel. 
  • Jazarieh: (Halawa covered with carrots and nuts): A thin layer of a mix that's too watery, too sweetand not honestly not tasty. I'm surely not a fan.

When desserts are served after such a perfect tasty dinner having a waiter as professional as Michel is just the cherry on top. I loved this place so much. Bravo! 

The pluses:

  • Fresh bread served every 15 minutes. The thin, firm, brown bread is a must try.
  • Food is delicious
  • Service is perfect

The minuses:

  • I cannot stand seeing plastic water bottles in a high-end restaurant. That's a turnoff!
  • Why use those small plates? They're not pleasant to eat from, I would personally remove them completely and let us enjoy dinner on big plates.
  • All the plates are complicated, except the hummos, which can be overwhelming for people visiting for the first time or the ones with food allergies or intolerances. I believe some simple things should be added to the menu, like a plate of Labneh.

I love it here... I think you should visit as well.

 




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been there? what was your impression? (8.44/10)

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happy
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good
0
euhh
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meh!
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nah!
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never again