October 03, 2013 North Lebanon Lebanon Middle East

Back to Babel, the Sea Fortress of Amchit

Phone Number: +961 9 620 999

Address: Amchit seaside road, near camping amchit, North Lebanon

Website: https://www.facebook.com/BabelLebanon

Price Range: 40-80 $


Welcoming: 5/5

Food Temperature: 9/10

Ambiance / Music: 7.5/10

Menu Choice: 4/5

Food Taste: 26/30

Architecture / Interior: 9/10

Food presentation: 8/10

Service: 9/10

Value for money: Soon

One month later and I am back at Babel Bahr, the new lighthouse illuminating Amchit. After my first positive experience at this restaurant, I wanted to impress my foreign friends from Korea and Lithuania with what Lebanon has to offer - a grandiose architecture and tasty food.
Yes, an impressive lighthouse with a unique grandiose setup nestled on Amchit’s seashores. It will attract your attention from several kilometers away. Reach Amchit, and then take the sea road to continue towards Tripoli, where 50 meters upfront you take a sharp left towards Mhanna sur Mer and campingAmchit. All you have to do is follow the lighthouse to reach BabelBahr. BabelBahr, spelledbab elbaher (the door to the sea) in Arabic, is the new Babel venue serving a wide selection of seafood in a new revisited and different way. When you go to this one don’t expect anything like the one atZaitunay Bay or even the one inDbayeh, but prepare to experience something new never seen before in Lebanon.
A new setup, close to the water:
  • Stones are everywhere, the same ones used in Dbayeh and Zaitunay Bay: A luxurious setup indeed
  • An elevator takes you down a level
  • An impressive long tunnel of a stone arcade over a water passage takes you to the main dining area
  • At the end, to the right is the fish display before reaching the dining space
  • Facing the fish display, a glass door takes you to the main terrace and balconies
  • A balcony/terrace closer to the water than you can imagine, overviewing a small Greek with active fishermen
  • A thick wood floor, a wood pergola and wooden tables make you feel on a boat's deck
  • The space is filled with low wooden tables surrounded by brown leather sofas and covered with long leather placemats that cross the tables from side to side
  • For a pleasant seating, the sofas are protected with white towels
  • Around the space, a natural rock cliff is decorated with tiny little led lights that look like candles
What a beautiful place, you will say to yourself... And while taking the time to enjoy all the little details, you can't but smile while your senses relax, listening to the musical tunes of the waves and the light musical background. I grabbed the ramp of thick ropes like boat decks and stared at a couple of fishermen searching for Mediterranean calamari. How nice: A pleasant wind, magical tunes, beautiful scenery... and that and dinner was not even starting yet.
Dinner started with a basket of warm bread “tlameh” (olives, nature, cuttlefish) served with a green olives and a special signature dip: Eggplant, spices, coriander sauce and olive oil, all together with a premium peanuts mix.
The little details I loved:
  • The beautiful presentation of the plates
  • The cupped ashtrays, not the usual stainless steel ones
  • The placemats are fixed to the table with under the table stopping them from moving or flying
  • The metallic thick cutlery is interesting even though a bit heavy
  • The Arak cups are amazing. A middle-sized cup – between the small and long drinks. You enjoy your drink calmly without having to refill every minute
  • The service is close to perfect. Every single member of staff is “more than” attentive and willing to make your night memorable as well as answer every question
  • The plates are generous and the presentation appetizing
  • Arak Babel is delicious with no after effects the next day
  • The toilets are very well designed and clean. Not a single detail is left unattended to
  • A menu has been printed proposing the menu is a clear way
Babel_Bahr_Restaurant_Seafood_Amchit104 On the menu you can read: "The babel journey is defined by culinary moment that originates from exploring the richness of traditional Levantine cuisine. The re-imagined combinations of inherited ingredients allow us to offer a progression and cultural cuisine" Let's eat:
  • Assorted pickles plate 9,000L.L: This plate of pickles is interesting and good looking specially the red chilli pepper in it. Other choices are thyme, cucumber, chili, garlic, beetroot, eggplant
  • Shrimps Beiruty 12,000L.L: Pan-fried shrimps served with a mixture of chill peppers, tomatoes and onions. That's a super spicy dish that honestly doesn't have to be that strong. I'll reconsider
  • Breaded Shrimps 20,000L.L: As good as they should be
  • Tabboulet el Bahhar 11,000L.L: The normal tabbouleh without bulgar wheat (borghol) but Christmas wheat, shrimps and coriander. In this salad, you won’t feel the crunchiness of the borghol but a pleasant sponginess of the wheat. A lemony seasoning and a nice feel of the parsley. Shrimps, cut in cubes add the magic that makes this salad special
  • Tajen Samak: Warm, soft and tender without a strong taste of the tahina and an after taste of fish. Covered with grilled pine nuts and fried bread on the side. Babel uses these thinly sliced fried bread as decoration
  • Fattouch EL Bahar 11,000L.L: This is a good one. The normal fattouch with a couple of “be2je”. Bread, filled with octopus, shrimps and calamari is wrapped like a picnic bag we have seen in old movies, then deep-fried. This is something new Babel has added. Unfortunately today, the "be2je" was cold, chewy and unpleasant to eat. I'll surely make them fresh, warm and crunchy, prepared the last minute
  • Hendbeh and Calamari 11,500L.L: Dandelion leaves mixed with calamari rings and lemon segments. Hindbeh, mixed with grilled calamari in an orange sauce. Super yummy!
  • Mtabbal 8,500L.L: The normal unsophisticated one decorated with pomegranate and basil leaves. That's the least of my favorites
  • Batata Mahrousse with lokoz 12,000L.L: Mashed potatoes mixed with grouper fish. I loved the colors (radish, onions, olives) and different textures of onions. The radish adds a hint of sweetness to the mix making it unique. An awesome plate
  • Hummus 8,000L.L: Very nice! The normal version
  • Fattet Bizri 21,000L.L: Like the shrimps fatteh of Babel Bay, Babel raises the bar even higher and dares to mix fish and Laban. Bizri a la Provençal topping the traditional eggplant fatteh. What is known around the country to be potentially poisonous is a superb dish. Laban is hard as cream with crispy fresh fried fish and bread
  • Breaded Fresh Calamari 23,000L.L: One of the best seafood plates I’ve ever eaten. Real fresh calamari, prepared, breaded and fried in-house. A must try
  • Seafood pastries (6 pieces) 16,000L.L: Sambousik seafood, Seafood roll, Kebbet samak. Fresh, crunchy non oily and tasty. A must try
  • Shawarma Fish 16,000L.L: It really feels like shawarma. Imagine eating a fish shawarma, with the same texture and feel of a chicken falafel. Chunks of fish enjoyed to the maximum
  • Grilled Grouper "Lekos Ramle", Gros Sel 125,000L.L:
  • Jam Assortments 18,000L.L: A selection of fig jam, date jam, pumpkin jam and bitter orange jam.
  • Ashta B Ashta 18,000L.L: Ashta ice cream with ashta and flower jam
  • Halawa with Jazrieh 18,000L.L: (Halawa covered with carrots and nuts): The same impression repeated with plates left on the table as is: Too soggy, too sweet and not tasty
  • Tamriyeh 18,000L.L: Date based dough topped with almond ice cream carob molasses and mixed nuts. That's not a dessert for the faint hearted. It has a strong taste of debs and kharroub combined, not everybody appreciates. If you want to choose one dessert only, go for the Ashta B Ashta
I salute Maître Charbel, who was in charge of our table. He made our night memorable on all levels, taking care of us in a synchronized and pleasant way. More so, I would like to thank the management for offering us desserts: A well appreciated gesture.

My mixed feeling: I do love this place and recommend it to all my friends but something bizarre just moves around in my head every time I visit. I don't know how to say it in an adequate way without it being misunderstood. I honestly find Babel Bahr's plates a bit too complicated making them heavy on the stomach. If you want to enjoy the experience as it should be, it's better you skip lunch the same day. On another hand, please do consider that some people do not eat fish, what would you suggest they eat other than hummus and French fries? Another visit enjoyed even more than the first time, with good food, the menu printed, the service perfected and the terraces refurbished. The summer days are close to and end and Babel Bahr is a must visit.





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