June 23, 2014 Gemmayze & Mar Mikhael Beirut Lebanon Middle East

The Happy Prince… The Transformation!

Non-smokers friendly

Phone Number: +961 1 569040

Address: Alexander Flemming Street, Mar Mikhael, Lebanon

Website:

Price Range: 35-50 $

RATING:78/100

Welcoming: 4/5

Food Temperature: 9/10

Ambiance / Music: 9/10

Menu Choice: 4/5

Food Taste: 27/30

Architecture / Interior: 9/10

Food presentation: 8/10

Service: 8/10

Value for money: Soon

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CHECK OTHER REVIEWS FOR THIS PLACE:
The Happy Prince... Didn't Impress Me Much...

Almost a year passed since my last visit to The Happy Prince, so it was time to come back for an update. I was not impressed with last year's visit, maybe because the restaurant was newly opened and they may have been overwhelmed by the thousands of customers who all came at once to try their burgers that fast became the talk of the town. A pub/bar/restaurant or let's say, a new concept, turned out to be just a burger shop in the eyes of their customers. But thankfully things changed...
 
 
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Coming back for The Happy Prince, I decided to choose a calm night and come to live the experience as it should be. Drinks, meat and burgers while we enjoyed soothing music until the late hours of the night. We arrived at 9pm, on a calm Sunday evening, and were invited to sit at our convenience. The Happy Prince doesn't take reservations except for the large round table that can host 8 to 10 guests.

The place's little details: 

  • Two large metallic and glass facades give a view of the street
  • Yellow dimmed lighting takes over the space, a color constituting the logo as well
  • Metallic cubes constitute the bases of three design chandeliers, with transparent onyx stones
  • A long wooden bar welcomes you on the right where a dozen bottles sit behind it for decoration. Those are the signature, infused magic potions with which the drinks are prepared
  • A central high wood table, that looks like a complete tree cut in half, is the center design piece, separating the bar from the dining area
  • Three rectangular tables and a round one occupy the end of the restaurant
  • 16 squares cover the long white wall on the left side where different green plants decorate it
  • In the middle of the white wall is a square black board where the day’s specials are offered. This display is taken off when the kitchen closes
  • Next to the door, the DJ’s turntable gives the master of the deck a view of the general ambiance

Tonight's task was special. I wanted to try the dry-aged meat and dry-aged burger while also tasting The Happy Prince burger again, a year after my first review. A drink, and there we were waiting to be served.

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To be honest, today's prince is different then the one I met last year:
  • The service was better and more professional
  • The music calmer; We could talk easily and enjoy dinner and drinks
  • The burger was superb
  • The fries were addictive

Let's enjoy some good food:

  • The Spinach Salad LBP16,000: baby spinach, fried egg, Angola lettuce, cherry tomato, avocado, served with vinegar dressing. An interesting salad, especially with the sunny side up eggs on top.
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  • The Cheeseburger LBP23,000: (selected cuts of US Black Angus beef served with house-made French fries). Today’s experience was a hundred times better than the first time I visited. Inside a soft and tender brioche bun that melts under your teeth like butter and with slightly crispy edges, are stuffed a couple of homemade dill pickles which I enjoyed separately a few days ago at Kissproof, each adding this subtle sweetness we like with a tasty melting cheese layer. The best part, the signature, the talk of town, is surely the ground beef, a thick patty of premium pure Angus beef without too many spices or bread crumbs, adequately grilled, bringing forward the authentic flavor of intense rich meat. Gourmet meat, carefully crafted to perfection, a juicy finish without any unneeded sauce or seasoning. Not only that, an interesting salty aftertaste finishes the experience in style.
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  • The Dry-aged Cheese Burger LBP35,000: If the burger is good, this fine creation is great. Smokiness, richness, finesse, Crunchiness... love in every bite. The dry-aged burger is nothing to be compared with the cheeseburger. I felt like I was eating a burger at another restaurant. Just imagine a dry-aged premium Angus, grilled from the outside with its intense smoky flavor and juicy red on the inside, where every bite crumbles under your teeth like butter. Topping that are moist caramelized onions adding the sweetness it needs, while the best is left for last, a slice of aged cheddar cheese carefully melted on the burger. Fatty, but who cares, it's a fully-fledged passionate experience where calories don't count. Finish the burger then enjoy the fries, tiny fries, a mountain of them, perfectly salted and fried twice, each with a crunchy envelop and a melting heart; they are addictive.
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  • Dry-aged T-Bone LBP130,000: Here is where the amazement starts. I've rarely seen such a piece of meat in the country. A huge 1,2kg premium cut, dry-aged for 45 days and served in a pan. Red from the inside and roasted from the outside, this meat that might look undercooked is grilled to perfection without a single drop of blood left around. An extremely tender piece of meat that doesn't even require chewing. Soft, tender and juicy, it was devoured to its very last bit. The cuts are separated by the T-Bone, leaving the sirloin with its fat on the right side and the loin, clean and tender, on the left side. Add a bit of sea salt and enjoy. The T-Bone is served with sautéed mushrooms and an exquisite signature potato puree.
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To accompany dinner, I chose to have one of their signature drinks, The Silent Parrot: apple, cinnamon, nutmeg-infused bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup, aromatic bitters, which I found very good. I followed that with The Hot Pottle: Chipotle-infused tequila, sweet vermouth, lime juice, celery juice, agave nectar and then The Corianderita: Tequila white, coriander, lime juice, agave nectar

Dinner was exceptional.
A good dinner is not complete without a fine dessert. So let's try their Pain Perdu. The Happy Prince's pain perdu is made of four round slices of bread, soaked in milk and butter and topped with quarters of apple compote all covered with caramel sauce and a vanilla ice cream. An interesting aroma opens up your appetite even more. Unfortunately, this dessert lacked body and flavor. It's too soggy, needing more cooking and more textures. I didn't like it.
 
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Good to know:
  • You can only reserve one table: The round one that can host up to eight guests
  • The Happy Prince is known for its unique drinks and cocktails
  • An average of a hundred burgers is served everyday so don’t expect to find one at the end of the service
I loved:
  • The table napkins - Their presence adds a fine touch to dinner. I liked their thickness and their clean smell
  • The idea of cutting and producing the French fries differently in-house is nice

I'll improve:

  • Knives have to be changed to cut better
  • I'm sorry for the bad quality of that night’s pictures. The lighting was too low for photography
The Happy prince has a fine selection of meat, a superb burgers and some tasty drinks to enjoy. This pub/bar/restaurant has a lot to offer and I invite you to give it a try of you didn't do so already .



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been there? what was your impression? (8.79/10)

0
happy
0
good
0
euhh
0
meh!
0
nah!
0
never again