Located on the second floor of an old house in Anfeh, Memorize serves guests with a selection of international and Lebanese dishes. Lebanese music plays in the background giving atmosphere through to the bar and terrace. Indeed Memorize is a lounge haven for Shisha lovers and people seeking a tasty bite in this historic city.
Lounges and wooden tables, the setup feels like a classy terrace in a beach house.
On the menu:
- Salads (Lebanese and international)
- Hot appetizers
- Bel Makleh
- The specialities
- Pasta and pizza
You get a lovely first impression when a sharing platter lands in the middle of the table. Toasted tortilla rolled like cigarettes served with Zaatar, green olives and Labneh. I loved the idea of the tortilla, the quality of Zaatar, the freshness of the green olives and quality of Labneh. At this point I was already imagining how good and tasty the main courses will be!
I would only change one thing... the waitress's attitude, look, makeup and hair dangling from all sides. She lacked professionalism and communication skills. A smile would have added value... she acts, writes, moves and takes the order aggressively.
Before tasting, you can't help but notice the plates. Beautiful plates perfectly decorated. Black squares with black bowls and the same toasted tortillas on the side served with almost everything.
The appetizers are good!
- Super juicy Ras Asfour flavored with pomegranate molasses. Generously mixed with pine nuts, grab a bite and enjoy it with the soft bread.
- Potato cubes with coriander and spices which they prepared a-la-minute without garlic. They're good!
- Hummus with meat, pine nuts and fat cubes. Very good hummus considering it is served at a non-specialist restaurant.
- A crab salad like any other crab salad. A load of lettuce, corn, tomatoes and cucumbers all freshly cut. The salad comes with a lemon mustard sauce on the side. But the freshness of the ingredients makes it stand out.
- Shrimp tempura also called crunchy shrimp are as good as all the other dishes. They are crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside. You experience the shrimp and batter without any residue of oil or bad smell. The plate is decorated with a line of mustard.
More food was yet to come, but the main plates are not as good as the appetizers:
- Fajita, a mix of beef, chicken and shrimp. The meat is a bit chewy, the chicken a bit dry and the shrimps were not as tender as I expected. An excess of salt which was not pleasant. The plate is, however, beautifully presented with cheddar cheese, white cheese, tomato and tomato sauce.
- The plate of crispy chicken is a meal for two, four big chunks of crispy chicken served with coleslaw, honey mustard and thick slices of fried potato. The plate looks good...but the chicken is way too dry and lacks flavor. Without sauce it's stale and dull. The coleslaw has an unpleasant excess of mayonnaise and the potato is way too salty.
- Pizza: a different pizza, different from any other I've had before. Even though saltier than expected, the pizza is made with a very thin dough, and is loaded with juicy and flavorful ingredients. Cheese melted in the middle and toasted on the side - I think this is what gives the unpleasant saltiness - a load of cherry tomatoes add that touch of juiciness, bell pepper, tomato sauce and a mountain of roquette leaves in the middle.
It seems Memorize's chef is stronger at cooking Lebanese food. The creativity is clear with a good choice of ingredients and beautiful presentation but they need to reduce the use of salt and the chicken should be marinated for hours before serving.
Overall a pleasant experience... the mood and food at Memorize is good!