CHECK OTHER REVIEWS FOR THIS PLACE:
Al Mandaloun Cafe's New Location in Dbayeh
My Third Visit to Al-Mandaloun Dbayeh
The Buffet Breakfast of Al Mandaloun Dbayeh
A Continental Breakfast at Al Mandaloun Dbayeh
Al Mandaloun Dbayeh: Steak Frites a la Francaise
Fresh Sunday Vibes at Al Mandaloun Dbayeh
Christmas Time at Al Mandaloun Café, Dbayeh
Al Mandaloun's New Innovative Ice Cream Flavours: A Must Try
The Breakfast Buffet at Al Mandaloun Dbayeh
Start Your Day on a Happy Note at Al Mandaloun Dbayeh
Al Mandaloun Cafe Introduces a New Menu
A place I like, a restaurant I consider my cantina, Al Mandaloun Dbayeh is one of those places I enjoy every now and then. Always fully booked, Al Mandaloun is surely not one of those calm places for a cozy dinner, but is a place where tasty food is guaranteed, you're taken care of by professional waiters, a staff that has been working here since its first days.
This is an update on my previous Al Mandaloun visits after four consecutive experiences. I've been here for the meat and always enjoy their sandwiches and clubs without forgetting the daily continental breakfast buffet and rich salad bar. Check the photo gallery below for a load of mouthwatering photos.
With updated photos on the site let me remind you of the decor and design. Part of my Top10 list Al Mandaloun is a place that's unique in structure and architecture. The details that make up this stand alone restaurant in the heart of Dbayeh are outstanding. The big garden terrace, the high ceiling with its huge red chandelier shades, big leather sofas - these are some of the things that make this place a favorite for me and many others. Of course add to that to their tasty food and professional service and you'll be back again for sure.
The menu is printed on nine different sheets of colored paper showing the varieties they have from viennoiseries, the permanent buffet, their sandwiches, their specials, their Japanese selection, their desserts, their tea choices, juices and beverages...
A ritual, dinner always starts with a selection of appetizers selected from the salad bar. A plate of hummus, potato Kebbeh and fried cauliflower alongside two baskets of bread, a selection of Lebanese, French and cheese-stuffed baguettes to one with soujok inside.
Good Hummos, distinctive for a French cafe, made without garlic, the hummos has a firm consistency, with tahina that's not over powering and an enjoyable lemony, lasting after taste. A good one.
Fried prawns: A generous portion of prawns, opened from their center and flattened, battered and fried. Crispy on the outside and tender in the inside, those shrimps don't taste of oil, but are sweet and served with sweet and sour sauce.
The shrimp tempura is not as good as the fried shrimps. The envelope is thick and chewy with an oily flavor. The prawns are well cooked and offer a nice texture, but the cover is bizarre. I'd choose the other ones.
The pizza: Smaller than the large one found at pizza places, it contains a load of fresh ingredients while being covered completely with speck. Mozzarella cheese, goat cheese and tomato sauce, a good flavor, but I believe the dough is a bit too thick, a bit undercooked, lacking crunchiness and chewy. The dough should be thinner, the pizza four centimeters bigger, it needs a crunchy bottom and the borders should be crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. It's good for a cafe, but not a reference point.
Tonight was sushi night and we ordered a selection of colorful pieces. Each order is made of two pieces, with a price between $2.50 and $4. I've surely had better, but they're good for a cafe. The rice is well cooked and not sweet, the fish is fresh and the textures are enjoyable.
Salmon Club: Al Mandaloun café offers a large selection of tasty sandwiches among other items, and one thing I always find myself ordering is their salmon club. Two slices of tender black pain de mie filled and presented with a certain class, where a layer of smoked salmon and a spread of cream cheese are laid. Moist and tender, the mix melts in style in your mouth. Simple, yet extremely tasty.
Best for last, Al Mandaloun's soft chocolate ice cream is better known in Lebanon as Merry Cream. I'm a fan, a big fan and make it a point to always order this ice cream after my meal. If you haven't had one of those yet, know that you're missing a lot. Served in a glass bowl and decorated with three fresh, crunching cones, the ice cream is a favorite during both summer and winter. I love its real chocolate flavor and low sugar levels.
- A beautiful decor, a great ambiance, a smoke-free space, everything is a guaranteed pleasure.
- Good food, beautifully decorated plates and mouthwatering desserts.
- Why would a place like Al Mandaloun broadcast football on the screens? Is it a sports cafe? I'd go for Fashion TV, or maybe the food network or even better, National Geographic.
- For the love of God! Happy birthday song was blaring out two times that night! I don't think we're all obliged to have our ears massacred.
- The waiters can be arrogant sometimes.
If you feel like escaping Beirut's hustle and bustle, head to Al Mandaloun to enjoy some good food in a smoke-free environment while sitting on relaxing sofas surrounded by trees that are sure to refresh your mood.