Today, we were invited to a place called La Vie en Rose for lunch. I thought at first it was a wedding venue, but it seems they organize buffet lunches on Sundays. "O Bois" or "La Vie en Rose", two names for the same venue.
Reach Bois de Boulogne Hotel and take a left to La Vie en Rose. Located in the village of Khenchara-Bologna this venue is made with a dedication to look after even the smallest details. Under the stone arcade, we were welcomed by two hostesses. I thought we were at a wedding at first. Before we went in we double checked and confirmed that we were three, we had three kids and we had a maid with us. "Une Bonne", she said as she wrote it down. Not a great first impression, or let's say bad choice of words.
Inside a large venue, an eye candy place divided into two spaces, one on the right for the welcome drinks and the seating area on the left. Filled with white tables under the cover of fabrics, the venue is appealing and pleasant. The sound of water, a basin and a wooden bridge and a long set of tables for the buffet.
Inside the venue are different live stations. Ice cream, saj, burgers, salads, mashawi and two carriages filled with ice and soft drinks.
The first impression:
- The staff is welcoming. The saj guy helped me take my first picture and the waitresses were attentive and helpful.
- They use Coke, yes, Coca-Cola in cans, not in large plastic bottles.
- A self-serve bar is open and there's no need to order.
- We were welcomed by a plate of manakish, freshly baked and sent to the table as we arrived.
- On the lower level is a place for kids. The kid's playground is not too easy to get to, so make sure your kids are accompanied, but once there they will be in heaven. There are two inflatables for all ages.
The food choices:
- Lamb on the skewer
- Hamburgers and hotdogs
- Steak and mashawi
- Corn on the cob
- The salads (crab, Cesar, goat cheese, tabbouleh and fattouch)
- The pasta station
- Grilled chicken and wings
- Lebanese cold mezze
- Mini Lebanese bites, kebbeh, cheese and pizza
- The food is really delicious and I wasn't expecting it to be. The kebbeh is generously filled with tender meat and has an envelope that’s also tender and enjoyable. The fried cheese rolls are crunchy and really good. Lamb on the skewer is offered in small bites and I loved it after adding some lemon and sumac. I also really enjoyed the mousakhan chicken, small sandwiches of chicken in saj bread. The tabbouleh is up to the standard of a fine Lebanese restaurant. Tasty hummus! Crunchy and juicy grilled carrots with a touch of sourness. Broccoli and a tender meat: Kudos for that. Good French fries... Don't miss the mashawi, tender meat and shrimp in a perfect marinade. And much more.
- Not one thing was bad, or even ordinary. The buffet is surely recommended. Dessert followed, but was served late. A selection of fruits, chocolate biscuit cake, nammoura and mini tarts. Pomegranate with pine nuts, melon and watermelon as well as two stations of ice cream and waffles. Other than being served late, the selection was good and the stations were the kids' favorites.
I had fun, my kids had fun, my parents had fun... I will come back.
- I loved the food!
- They have high chairs for kids.
- The portions are generous and the choices are enough to satisfy all cravings.
- Regards to the owner who followed up on every single detail, making sure the serving plates were full and clean.
- We were asked at the door how many we were, but that was not enough. The question was repeated again and again, three times, to figure out how much they will charge us. Not too ethical, to say the least.
- The music comes from afar, from a single speaker in the kid's area broadcasting Arabic or French or something in between: I'd work on that and give this place some identity.
- We waiting long time for the dessert which was served on a tiny little table that's hard to reach.
- Add something fun to the waiters' clothes, maybe an apron or a printed polo shirt. Wearing their white shirts and black pants made it look like an old Lebanese restaurant that was soon to close down. Nothing, not a single thing around the venue is printed or colored in pink! Pink is included in the name, isn't it? Use this color to decorate their clothes.
- The chefs and staff behind the buffet should all wear the same clothes.
- It should be clear that there is a kids section, balloons, entertainment and hostesses that approach kids with a positive attitude.
- Since the Saj station is available, why not make Nutella, banana and halawa bites for dessert?
Still six weeks to go if the weather permits, plan your next Sunday to La Vie en Rose, a kid-friendly place.
La Vie en Rose Garden, +961-3-345752