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Bayrut Street Food: A New Restaurant, A New Concept, Good Hummus
I have a new favorite Lebanese eatery in Beirut, it's called Bayrut Street Food. The last time I was here, I left unsatisfied with the experience. I wanted to come back to try the place again and see if anything has changed. I was happy I did so...!
Before: I remember unprofessional, untrained waiters. Spoons spoiling all dishes brought to the table. A soggy inedible shawarma. A very sweet mouhallabiya... Today: I ate and experienced the complete opposite.
It started when Khalil approached for the order. He helped me go through the menu which he knows by heart. Hummus, moutabbal, sambousik and fatayer, raw Kebbeh and salads. Shawarma and siyadieh followed to complete the experience. I loved it all!
Two baskets of fresh bread landed on the table. Fresh bread served hot which offered a light end note of saltiness. It is intended to be enjoyed with zaatar that they get from Deir el Qamar. The hummus is some of the best I've ever had. It's creamy, lemony and soft on the palate. It does not contain any garlic. The moutabbal is just as good, so fresh and light without being over acidic.
Sambousik... excellent! Satisfyingly crisp on the outside, tender meat that's firm yet juicy and mixed with grilled pine nuts. The sambousik are enjoyably fatty. Raw Kebbeh... I never imagined eating raw Kebbeh in a concept restaurant like this one! The Kebbeh is a must try, a must-have experience, superb raw meat served with a mix of minced meat and pine nuts on the side. Recommended!
I was so overwhelmed by the main dishes that I almost forgot about the salads. Fattouch and tabbouleh, two great mixes. I'm not sure how to explain these salads; they feel light and balanced without an excess of lemon or pomegranate molasses. It's like they have been created to fit a lunch-break not a heavy weekend meal. Freshly made, I ordered them without onions.
The main deal: the Shawarma has changed drastically. It is a gourmet shawarma if I may call it so. Meat marinated to perfection, tender and juicy, served with French fries and roasted tomatoes on the side. Although I would have preferred the French fries to be hand cut to look more Lebanese.
Fish siyadieh is a spot on! Bravo.
I'm not sure how it happened, but what I experienced today is totally different from the last experience. I can't believe the same kitchen could prepare food as good as this when it was so bad just seven months ago. I was happy to experience such flavors, have the dishes served without spoons shoved in them, to be surrounded and served by professional staff and to finish the experience with mouth watering Kashta liyyeh as well as Chidiac's famous karabeej.
The food has dramatically improved.
However I still don't understand the name. It's a bad choice in my opinion, especially after tasting today's culinary experience. The food is not street style, rather it resembles that served in gourmet restaurants, so why the name? It really doesn't fit the place and in my opinion diminishes the brand.
But bravo and thank you for drawing a smile on my face. I left so happy that I'll be coming back very soon.