CHECK OTHER REVIEWS FOR THIS PLACE:
Orfali Lebanese Sandwiches: Straight from the Farm for you (Restaurant Closed)
Orfali's: Imported Meat Crafted into Lebanese Sandwiches (Restaurant Closed)
As promised before, I'm back to Orfali for a more extensive look at the concept, different Kebbeh varieties, and to meet the man behind this interesting concept. I will introduce you to Orfali's wide menu of sandwiches, which are all based on "the cow" and taste their different signature meatballs that are filled with rich flavors.
The concept is so nice and worth looking into: Behind the glass facade supported by light wood, is a long shop where every inch has been thought off wisely. Stand still and look around. Everything is built around meat, fresh meat, which comes straight from the farm to the consumer. The experience starts on the farm, where cows enjoy grazing on the green grass, then enter the barn where metal and wood cover the left wall, after that you arrive at the butchery with its utensils that cover the right wall. Down below is the charcoal grill where you to enjoy these premium products imported directly from New Zealand into a nice Lebanese sandwich.
Enter into the world of Orfali:
- An open vitrine facing a long bar with wooden high-chairs on both sides
- On the right is the charcoal grill behind the fresh meat fridge
- A full concept built around “The Cow.” The meat provider. Patterns, lines, and colorful cows cover all the space
- Facing that is a wide buffet displaying many appetizers of which Lahme Baajine, cheese loaf, and kebbe (sajiyeh, lebneniyeh, labneh, debs el remman, peanut butter, pistachio, tajen, la2tine, batata, lkarazieh…)
- Facing the grill is a long wall covered with metal making it look like a hangar
- Here and there, butcher’s utensils decorate the space
- Space is divided into three levels: the entrance, the seating area, and the kitchen
- Things are upside down around here, the ceiling is covered with grass and large Danish cows
- Around the stairs is the main attraction. Dozens of painted cows sold at $50 or $60 are already in many homes around town
- You can ask for your own custom made Orfali cow with your name or message
I tasted two sandwiches, the Kabab bil jebne (Kabab mixed with cheese and served with a special avocado sauce): Simply outstanding! Followed by Kabab Orfali, the house signature sandwich, which is unique due to its simplicity. (Kabab, hummus, pickles and a special sauce that makes all the difference).
Afterward, was Kebbeh time. I asked to meet the woman behind these creations and was invited down below to follow her on her journey of preparation. Today, I can say that I've learned to work the Kebbeh balls, and I enjoyed it.
Kibbeh or kibbe is a Levantine dish made of bulghur, minced onions and ground red meat, usually beef, lamb, goat or camel. The best-known variety is a torpedo-shaped fried croquette stuffed with minced beef or lamb. Other types of kibbeh may be shaped into balls or patties, and baked or cooked in broth. One variety of kibbeh is a 7-to-15-cm oblong bulgur shell shaped like an American football, stuffed with a filling of spiced, minced lamb, and fried until brown. British soldiers in the Middle East during the Second World War used to call these kibbeh "Syrian torpedoes." It is similar in concept to the Sicilian arancini. In Levantine cuisine, a variety of dishes made with bulghur and minced lamb are called kibbeh. The northern Syrian city of Aleppo is famous for having more than 17 different types. These include kibbeh prepared with sumac (kibbe sum?qiyye), yogurt (kibbe labaniyye), quince (kibbe safarjaliyye), lemon juice (kibbe ??m?a), pomegranate sauce, cherry sauce, and other varieties, such as the "disk" kibbeh (kibbe ar??), the "plate" kibbeh (kibbe bi?f??a or kibbe b??niyye) and the raw kibbeh (kibbe nayye).
Now you can taste a large variety of those creations and even other homemade recipes at Orfali, here in Lebanon.
Orfali's Kebbeh are called "Kebbe Baklava" imitating the famous baklava desserts shapes:
- Lebnenieh: (meat and pine nuts) The normal authentic Kebbe which has a normal round shape
- Sajiye (onion, walnut, bell pepper, cumin) This Kebbe is oval and flat like a saj dough
- Borma (meat, pistachio and walnut, dibs el roman) Filled with a load of ingredients, this is the only variety showing the filling. After being rolled in a large sandwich, the kebbe is cut in slices and grilled
- Kebbeh karaziyeh (meat from the outside and filled with cherry jam) Unique is the least I can say. The cherry jam used in Armenian cuisine fills this kebbe without added meat. Adequately sweet, it's a must-try
- Chewish (labneh) Looking like fingers, this variety is filled with Feta cheese and onions
- Basma (vegetables) A kebbe filled with vegetables has an oval look and a lighter color you cannot miss
- Man w Salwa pistachio from the outside and mhammara inside (festo2 7alabe) Superb!
- Man w Salwa peanut (peanut butter) Having a light color, this one os covered with nuts and not meat. It's far from anything you've tasted before
- Orfali (the semi circlar kebbeh) That's the signature filled with Orfali sauce and tomato
- Batata (Dried raisin and onions) That's the only meat free kebbe known for its oval shape
- Kebbeh tajen (fish kebbe with tajen stuffing)
- Kebbeh seafood (calamari, shrimps, octopus in soy sauce)
Different kinds that you can preorder for takeaway, available depending on the season.
Today's discovery led me to meat Hanaa, the woman who works hard down in the kitchen to prepare these round balls, Lebanon's signature appetizer, just for you. I love it when I meet the hard workers behind a brand name... It makes me appreciate things more.
Orfali is one of those concepts that's worth trying...