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Mum&I is a place with a charm, a soulful space, a restaurant that started the whole Badaro hype. Serving homemade traditional food made with love, passion and dedication, I fell in love with Mum&I from the minute I stepped into it two years ago.
It was a Wednesday and I made it a point to leave everything behind and come here for a delicious authentic meal. I still remember the flavors to date.
Mum is the mother and I is Samia.
One rule primes, and that is "cleanliness" which I had the chance to see for myself inside Samia's little heaven. A kitchen cleaner looks like she’s working in a surgery room, that’s how impeccably clean the place is. Every casserole and every utensil is perfectly cleaned and placed on its place. A beehive, where bees follow the order of their queen in a synchronized way, all covered from head to toe for further hygiene purpose.
Facing Mathaf and behind the Volvo showroom you'll see a small neon sign next to black and white fabrics protecting the restaurant from sun. Reach a terrace outside a square with glass and black metal facades. Samia, "I", welcomes you into her home. A blackboard outside, displays the menu, which will prepare you for one of the greatest culinary experiences you will be encountering the next couple of hours.
The place described:
- Two large doors facing the National Museum
- An outdoor terrace Metallic facades painted in black welcomes the right amount of light
- The floor is covered with green old Lebanese tiles with a single alley of colorful tiles
- High ceiling with for pending lights
- Two fridges, one filled with a large choice of soft drinks (Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Almaza, 961beer, Perrier and San Pellegrino) and the other contains some desserts (meghle, mouhallabiya and amareddine)
- The facing wall, covered with a large mirror reflects the outside road which makes the place look twice as big Under the mirror, a long sofa of all the place's colors concentrated in one design piece Square wooden tables surrounded with Lebanese style chairs covered with leather seating.
- The restaurant's logo is printed on each chair
- At the right, the kitchen appears behind the clear glass with a buffet displaying the desserts, a glass bucket and three wine bottles.
On today's menu: Kebbe Arnabiye, Bazella w Rez, Ma3carone ala Djeij, Wara2 3arish bel Zeyt, Fassolia Hamra bil Zeit, Ejjet Koussa.
- A plate of stuffed grapevine leaves in olive oil, a generous portion fills the plate on a bed of olive oil and lemon. Each grapevine has a light and thin envelop with extremely well cooked rice and a tangy touch of enjoyment. They are addictive.
- Eggs omelette with shredded zucchini. Black chunks fried to perfection with a yellow tender heart and a crispy border: a preparation that's so airy and even though fried feels light. I had one and another and couldn't stop.
- Red beans served warm, cooked in oil and enjoyed without rice or meat. Tender beans melting under the teeth with no effort, a thick red sauce, seasoned to perfection. The simplicity of Mum&I's food is what makes it special.
- Pasta and chicken is simple, white cream and pasta, tender pasta well cooked and topped with a layer of cheese, thin and golden cheese. Juicy chicken, moist pasta and flavors, full of it.
- Green peas with basmati rice on the side and chunks of meat, a revisited version of this traditional meal with touches of finesse. Large sized peas with a firm envelop, tomato sauce, spices and rice, al dente with vermicelli. Simplicity makes t perfect.
- Arnabiyyeh: Oh my god! Intensively spiced, extremely tender meat, full-bodied kebbeh with an empty heart, smooth chickpeas and the sauce, the awesome sauce. What's hard about this plate is the sauce where oil separates and floats on top. The bitter orange flavors are strong and pronounced. Yummy!
- Makanek: different from any other I had in town, harder in consistency, a grilling taste, a bit dry but it fits... Those Makanek are the up-scaled version of it.
- Mousakhan djeij, or markouk chicken as they call them are Saj bread sandwiches rolled around tender chicken mixed with spices. No garlic, simply amazement. In here, they manage to create out of something simple a masterpiece.
- Carrot and lots of cinnamon, flavors of carrots, crunchy walnuts, sticky dried raisins and a juicy moist heart. Loved it!
- Creme caramel: Can I express myself in Arabic "Chi Ktir 2awe."
- Mouhallabiya: Wobbly like a gelatin ball, elastic like a toy, lucid like a mirror, soft like butter, intense and flavorful. It's that kind of mouhallabiya you'll remember, a certain finesse, a different taste, a unique texture and unmatched flavor. I am a mouhallabiya fan and even though this one needs a bit less sugar, it's memorable.
I love this place and surely recommend it. Come here for some rich, traditional and authentic Lebanese food you sometimes can't even enjoy at home.