Finishing our tour of Aley and after visiting the villages of Wadi Shahrour, Houmal, Bdadoun, Bsous, Souk el Ghareb and Aley here we are in Chemlan for lunch.
Chemlan is a village up the mountain facing the airport and offering one of Lebanon's best views. In the village is a restaurant, an old house built in the early 1800s and transformed into a restaurant in 1936. Th restaurant's name is Al Sakhra or The Cliff House in English.
Fayrouz singing in the background, old stones, arcades, wooden doors and old furniture reminding you of the authenticity of this space.
The menu is standard for a Lebanese restaurant includes starters, salads, cold meat, hot starters, grills and beverages.
We ordered a selection of items to have an overview of the food. As a first impression everything was good, as well as the presentation of the plates. So let's eat.
- The Hummos is good, just as you'd expect, adequately lemony, rich in chickpeas and lightly mixed with tahini. Hummos with soujouk is a favorite; the same Hummos with a rich filling of juicy soujouk and some grilled cashew nuts. Tender Hummos, flavorful soujouk and crunchy nuts.
- Fresh tabbouleh, juicy tomatoes and parsley cut to the proper size. I loved the lemon touch and the salty after note. The meat is firm, not chewy and not overly tender, but tasty. The kafta is enjoyable with Hummos. The sambousik are crunchy, not oily and richly filled. The chicken liver in pomegranate molasses is also good, as good as all the rest. The stuffed vine leaves are not to be missed.
- The cheese fingers are crunchy and generously filled.
- I think my favorite of all would be the mouhammara. A rich red color, a beautiful texture, a light sweetness, crunchy walnuts and just the right level of spiciness for a long lasting note.
With that we were offered a plate of vegetables and a cooked artichoke.
Honestly... Bizarrely and I wasn't expecting it... I enjoyed my meal so much that I decided to plan a visit with my family and kids the week after. The positive vibes around this restaurant rock and the food is great. The food was really good and I enjoyed it calmly while fulfilling my senses with this breathtaking view.
Ask to see the postcards telling the story of this historical place.
- Food is good.
- They have a big and secure kids playground.
- View is unmatched
- The service could be better, the staff needs more training and surely more finesse.
Next time you visit the area, head for the silk museum in Bsous and continue for lunch at Al Sakhra. Recommended!