The name Al-Mandaloun reminds of various outlets like the Al Mandaloun club in Mar Mikhael, Al Mandaloun Grill (which has closed), Al Mandaloun Cafe in Achrafieh and it seems a new one coming soon in Dbayeh, where the family originally started their series of outlets.
There's a lot to say about each one, but here my review will be about Al Mandaloun - the nightclub on busy Mar Mikhael that welcomes its guests Al Mandaloun welcomes its guests starting 10pm for a late night dinner with some lounge music followed by what a lot refer to as one of the greatest parties in Lebanon. In my opinion, Al Mandaloun, partying wise is the only competitor to Music Hall of Beirut; as both provide their loyal customers with an unforgettable live entertainment show from 11pm until 4am.
The nightclub is a reference and an address. The decoration, the show, the sound quality, the rounded screen, the lighting, the acrobatic shows are but a few of the awesome features that will make your night a memorable one... During the night at Al Mandaloun, nine different shows entertain you all night long including a variety of music genre from lounge, classical, R'n'B, Oriental and much more. The show ends with a unique performance percussionist and acrobat that sends you home at the early hours of the morning with something to remember. But unfortunately I can't say the same about the food. My friends and I had a variety of dishes during our last visit including:
- The Appetiser Combo: Three cups of a variety including fried prawns and spring rolls. The mix and the choice is perfect but the items were too oily and too salty. Come to think of it, most of their dishes were a bit too salty.
- Crab Salad: Tasty combination of crunchy cucumber, crabs with fried crunchy friend seaweed.
- Chicken Cesar salad was fair.
- Shrimps and Mini Eggs Salad (Oeufs de Cailles), although the shrimps were french and crunchy, the salad had too much mayonnaise in it. By the way, the mayonnaise issue is everywhere everywhere. When mayonnaise is part of the ingredients, people seem to add much more than needed.
- The main course is a Medallion de Boeuf and not a filet. I wouldn't agree to use that quality for the price we are paying and for the reputation of the restaurant. But I got a well done piece of meat instead of the medium as requested... it came with mashed potato and vegetables garnish.
The waiters are very professional, serving, happy and delicate, turning around doing their job smoothly and softly with a smile. Plates and drinks are changed, and refilled professionally.
Then came the most important part:
- The desserts - it was simply wow
- A very nice assortment of choice cooked with love and passion
- The Chocolate Cylinder Cone Croquant and the Strawberry and Red Berries Cone Croquant with Creme Fouetee with ice cream
- The dessert makes you forget about all the rest, before your farewell home.
Now. If we compare nightclubs, lots of them do provide dinner for their guests before the party starts.
- Pier7 has great and delicious food choices but the quantities are not sufficient for the price you are paying. To feel full, a nice dinner would be pricey.
- Buddha Bar quality, quantities and price are very good without any negative feed back since the last time I was there, two years ago.
- The Music Hall remains the best club in town for the entertainment it provides but also needs some improvement in the food quality.
So to conclude: an improvement is a must, and the sooner the better.