After a long morning of meetings in Souk Beirut, I felt a tickle of hunger. The choices in Beirut Souks for having breakfast include a few places, but I came across Bali Balima. I was intrigued by the name as I have recently tried Balima in Saifi Village where I had lunch. I asked if the place was the same and they said yes so sat down to have a quick breakfast.
Bali Balima, one of the smallest venues in the souks is owned by Chef Olivier Gougeon and has two dispense stations, drinks from one side with DJ or Jazz band and "small platters" from the other, revived the Intabli square with it's beautiful terrace surrounding a symbol of the old souks, the Fountain. One could chill on contemporary furniture and enjoy the traditional manakich as well as sipping a drink on chairs and tables oriental cafe style. Bali Balima's menu is simple with fresh daily vegetables from the farmer's market of souk-el-tayeb that are picked for Bali-Balima's healthy salads, organic scrambled eggs, quiches, croque-Monsieur, etc.
- Lebanese Breakfast which offers a plate of Lebanese Mankoushe with a plate of Labneh, with a side of olives as well. This order also comes with fresh juice and coffee. - Omelet Eggs with mushrooms and cheese.
- I loved the fresh air enjoyed as we sat in a nice cozy atmosphere. - The metal basket of fresh bread with butter to start: The bread is neither chewy nor crunchy yet impeccable.
I didn't appreciate: - The omelet came not as requested: We asked for an omelet with mushrooms but came without any. The waiter simply said, sorry we don't have mushrooms. He should have told us that before he proceeded with the order. This plate was overly oily and the cheese used was not tasty at all. It was a bit sour with an after taste. Although we told the waiter that the plate was not edible, we still paid for the order without any action taken whatsoever. Simple eggs, a simple yellow plate, no decoration and no vegetables at L.L13,000! WOW!
Far too expensive!
At the end of the day, it's not the waiter's fault, he might be following policies.
- The Lebanese breakfast was fine, but it could have been much better. Mankoushe is a bit too thick without anything special about it. It reminded me of the ones I used to eat at school at L.L2000 only. A simple Lebanese Mankoushe and a bit of Labneh at L.L23,000! WOW! Good for breakfast, lunch and an afternoon sit-down at the friendly terrace of Bali Balima, the menu is devised to fit each segment of the day all the way through the night flowing with cocktail drinks.
Be advised, it is expensive!