Tonight we try Mon Maki a Moi... The second branch of a famous local restaurant.
Newly open onDbayeh's internal road, MonMaki aMoi is a sushi restaurant many have been talking about. With its second location -afterJbeil- MonMaki aMoi comes with a beautiful space built around a main bar made of white reflective wood and light green lines. The restaurant occupying an old Lebanese house has a certain class to it with its smooth white, grey and light green colors embraced by wood covering the walls on a grey floor. Pending modern lights add a certain charm. Tables are set with paper placemats, a rectangular plate and a pair of chopsticks.
Be prepared! Enter and be welcomed by an arrogant manager who will ask you for your name and phone number before even starting the experience. A quick investigation and you are clear to walk in! We were given a table for two and handed the menu. As the experience started -like I always do it with a menu discovery-, taking pictures of the place and menu, the manager approached, handed me the delivery menu and rudely said with an attitude: "Why take pictures of the menu when you can take it home."
I loved the menu. It is beautifully designed and the photographer is really an artist. Clear white background, colorful rolls, black writing, clear pictures taken from above and almost all rolls are shot in their detail. Very professional, this is a menu every sushi restaurant should copy.
Choose what your craving and tick your order on the square paper which will be delivered to the bar by the waiter. It should have been repeated out loud, but it wasn't. We waited to be served.
Food is served:
- Crunchy Salmon salad served on a square plate. A bed of lettuce topped with cubes of salmon marinated in their spicy sauce. With not enough sauce, and over crispy crisps, the mix is not too pleasant to eat. The salmon quality is good indeed but the mix is not surely what I personally expected. I expected something juicier, fresher with a bit more sauce, less crispiness and more life. Not the best of first impressions.
- Salmon Carpaccio, the real deal of salmon, thinly sliced, fatty salmon with its thick lines of white fat, oily as it should be and decorated with a slice of hot chili pepper.
- Temaki: Spicy salmon and crisps. A light crunch, a good salmon, a lightly chewy nori. Even though it needs more flavor, it's not bad for a temaki.
- The salmon skin temaki scratched my palate. Too dry and too hard with a faded flavor of sweetness that covers on everything. Where is the sauce, where is the salt, where is the salmon taste. Not recommended.
- The maki rolls: Well presented on a wooden board, well rounded, looking good but it's not enough. The makis need serious work! The rice has an added sweetness you don't want to feel, sticky rice, juicy when it shouldn't be... That's not what real sushi should feel like. They all taste closely the same, an unpleasant sweetness with a bizarre faded taste of bitterness.
- Crunchy princess is about a crunchy envelope, a moist heart more like a soup and cream that gives it the taste; too complicated for my buds.
- The crystal is interesting. A gourmet kind of wrap with complicated aromas and flavors. Tuna, tempura and a wrap of furiwa. Interesting flavors with the same rice...
At one point a group of women walk in... The place became too noisy; a bit too much for a restaurant! You hear people talking as if they are sitting with you on the same table, you hear the noise in the kitchen as well as the printer, the annoying printer. Please find a solution and give the restaurant a warmer and more intimate feel for customers.
- Nice chopsticks made of wood, presented in their jacket.
- Kikkoman red and green soy sauce dispensers.
- I loved the menu! Two thumbs up for the menu.
- Food is not up to the standard of the decor, menu and photo quality. Not up to the price paid.
- Food is too sweet. Sweetness covers on all other flavors.
- At least use a good pen when handing the menu to customers, not a blue low quality pen with a black cover.
- Menu starts with "I brought the best... So delicious..." I'm sorry but that is surely not the best nor is it the most delicious. A bit pretentious in my opinion. Customers will judge.
- Staff training needed.
I tried the one in Jbeil; the experience was the same when I thought some improvements would have been implemented over the years... I'm not impressed, not my kind of place and not my kind of rolls. A lot has to be improved.