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I have expressed my admiration for Babel restaurant a few times already, but my admiration has grown stronger after I recently witnessed a successful gathering hosting 320 dentists during the annual Lebanese University Congress Gala Dinner.
The experience always starts the minute you walk into the grandiose Babelish castle with three different levels. The whole ambiance revolves around a tall olive tree. The high ceiling is breathtaking with a star-filled to give the impression of an open sky. To add more of the outdoor feel, street style black lamps decorate the walls. Three huge walls made of giant blocks of stone form the triangular boundaries of the restaurant creating a strong impact - a perfect location for a grand dinner party. To tell you the truth, when I heard that Babel is hosting the Gala Dinner, I was like:"Euh! A gala dinner at babel? a Lebanese restaurant?" And the questions started pouring. Will they be able to serve every one of the 320 guests at once? What would they be serving if we don't order individually? Will I try my favorite dessert?...
The table setup, relaxing chairs with arm rests made from soft material, the soothing lightning that adds warmth to the grandness of Babel are a few of the details which helped made the gathering a success.
I was amazed at the professionalism witnessed. Imagine waiters working like a army of bees all serving guests at the exact same time with the same quality and temperature of food all served over wood place mats, metallic serving plates and ceramic individual plates.
Babel's food is one of its kind. Lebanese dishes with a twist - every dish introduced is an innovative approach towards Mediterranean dishes. 320 guests were served the following:
- Olive oil, basil and olives with hot bread to start the party
- A selection of raw meat (Nayyeh Mtammameh) : habra kajo, kebbe pistachio, kafta semsom, frake habbet barake
- Mtabbal 3ajame: tomato, basil, joz
- Majroushe: borghol, hot sauce, tomato
- The simple hummus without garlic
- Raw Kebbe
- Fish Tajen
- 3annabiye: Vine leaves, joz, halabi
- Mixed Grill Platter ( Ma3jou2a): kebbe, cheese mushrooms, pepper, pistachio. Soft and tender meat that I enjoyed eating
- Chicken liver: The best in Lebanon. You can be sure of that.
- Fish makanek
- Mwarrade: Meat, cherries and nuts
What a night! Yes,a restaurant fully booked with more than 300 guests were all served at the same time, with the same quality Babel is known for, the same cutlery, the same serving plate and most importantly the same trained staff. I was just waiting to meet one of those "Waiter for a day" guy, but I couldn't find a single mistake to note down. And when you have a smiling professional waiter like Ramez serving you, believe me, your night will be just perfect. Dinner ended with plates of fresh fruits served on banana leaves and the unique Ashta Bi Ashta dessert that I enjoyed couple of days ago at Babel Bay.
Bravo, Bravo, Bravo is the least I can say about this experience...