Imagine a castle, the famous Sursock museum, the splendid white facades of this historical mansion decorated with colorful glass windows set in the middle of a court where a restaurant, kind of an upscaled cafe, waits to welcome you.
Nestled in the heart of Achrafieh, in one of Lebanon's richest streets -Sursock- is a museum I remember visiting many times during my school days. After its renovation and reopening, the place now has a cafe and a shop one next to the another occupying the right side of the courtyard. Set under a high ceiling and glass facade the cafe grabs you inside this ambiance of positivity and good spirit.
Grey walls and light wood, a bar made of white materials, parquet floor and tables, many of them, all square and topped with white wood surrounded by a line of grey. Grey metallic chairs, straight lines, pure angles, the place is indeed inspiring.
You can't help but feel something when you look at the yellow plates, the golden placemats, the shiny cutlery, the fine wine glasses and the little details, like the glass water bottles.
Lunch started with some nibbles.
- A Must Try
- Dinner time
- Ice cream
- Juices and smoothies
- Hot chocolate
- Teas and Infusions
- Mediterranean tomato thyme tart: Thin crust flaky dough baked a la minute with cherry tomatoes cut in half and served next to a fresh green salad. Finesse!
- Msakhan chicken wrap: Pulled chicken breast, tender and soft, wrapped in saj bread and presented in rolls on a metallic plate next to a strongly sour pomegranate molasses sauce. That's lovely; taking a simple local and traditional meal a level higher.
- The gyoza, or dumplings, are delicious. Shrimp, mushroom and pork, a tender dough, a warm and light filling, flavors and enjoyment.
- Seared beef salad: A majestic plate full of color, covered with thinly sliced seared beef with a red heart and a half cooked envelope, topped with a mountain of shredded vegetables. Seasonal greens, some yellow bell peppers, pomegranate sourness and Asian sweetness. That's a very good one.
- Green falafel and fattouch wrap: Mini falafel, kind of baked and lacking a bit of flavor, too many prominent vegetables and lots of bread. It's a salad sandwich with some sweetness and falafel that are spiced without flavor. Not my kind of food.
- Fish curry: A round plate, beautifully presented and decorated with green peas and bell peppers. A curry taste and color, a tender fish, but I would have added a boost of flavor. Good, but not great.
- Beef noodles: A mix of fresh green vegetables, hints of red capsicum, shining oil and noodles. Thick noodles with hints of sesame some mushrooms and zucchini.
Before moving to dessert, we were offered their signature hot chocolate served the oriental way like Lebanese coffee in a metallic pot and small cups.
- The molten chocolate cake is to die for. A molten creation served on a warm plate, a triangular piece where a chunk of chocolate awaits to melt under your palate. A light crust of cake and the rest that's like a smoothy of chocolate, dark chocolate leaving an interesting after note tickling your throat in a magical way. That's surely one of Lebanon's best pieces of cake.
- Chocolat mou in a cup: An impeccable dark chocolate ice cream, some whipped cream and chocolate sauce: Two thumbs up.
- Sahlab ice cream with ghazl el banet: As good as you'd expect.
The things I like:
- Food is good.
- The chopsticks are individually wrapped in paper. They are offered with dumplings and the sliced food.
- Decoration is neat and classy.
- Plates are sophisticated in a casual way.
I'd change and improve:
- Remove the serving forks and spoons from the plates because as all of you may know, the world is moving into instagramable plates. Photos look way better without cutlery.
- The placemats and plates are getting old quickly, as well as the menu. The place has not been open for two months. I'd find the source of the problem before things get worth.
With its older crowd, it's a restaurant I'll visit again. A terrace oozing history facing the Sursock palace and a restaurant that's kind of an upscaled cafe serving tasty bites. A must try.