April 27, 2014 Antelias Mount Lebanon Lebanon Middle East

Let's Have Sushi at O&C: What Do You Think?

Phone Number: +961 4 416 516

Address: Antelias Highway, Next to Charcutier Aoun, Antelias, Metn, Lebanon

Website: http://ocfreshmarket.com

Price Range: 40-70 $


Welcoming: 4/5

Food Temperature: 7/10

Ambiance / Music: 2/10

Menu Choice: 4/5

Food Taste: 18/30

Architecture / Interior: 3/10

Food presentation: 7/10

Service: 7/10

Value for money: Soon

Maybe we should name it a continuous Sushi craving I'm having lately. But recently I've had this constant need to try and discover a new Japanese "restaurant" every week. Some experiences are turning out to be good, while others are less or even mediocre... The hundreds of Sushi restaurants that have mushroomed around during the last five years should be regulated somehow.
O&C has been praised by the majority for its fine quality of fish and seafood products while there’s debate on the quality of its sushi. Hearing positive comments, we decided to give it a try. The main negative point at O&C is that you have to walk through the supermarket before reaching the restaurant. I'm not sure if it’s a good choice for a date, a business meeting or a family reunion. Nevertheless, many love it and when we visited, the place was almost full.
The Venue, In a Few Lines:
  • Access the supermarket where the big crystal chandelier hangs from the ceiling.
  • Pistachio, nuts, chips, ice cream and bottles of alcohol here and there invite you to start shopping.
  • Take the stairs to the left up to the first floor to find the restaurant.
  • The restaurant area has a very low ceiling that's a bit claustrophobic, but the reflective tiles covering the floor diminish this feeling.
  • A balcony gives a view of the supermarket below.
  • The inner wall, covered with long red lines adds a touch of color.
  • The square tables are black, decorated with white designs and surrounded by black leather sofas or individual chairs. Too much for a restaurant, you'll feel like you’re sitting in an art gallery. Look for the handful of red chairs.
  • The long strips of indirect lights on the white ceiling light up the space well.
  • The alley of couches are separated by green bamboo.
The Sushi Menu:
  • Starters
  • Soups
  • Salads
  • Mini sushi cakes
  • Sashimi (4 pieces)
  • Nigri Sushi (2 pieces)
  • Hosomaki (3 pieces)
  • Skinless rolls (4 pieces)
  • Uramaki (3 pieces)
  • Uramaki with Tobiko (3 pieces)
  • Crispy Uramaki (3 pieces)
  • Special Uramaki (4 pieces)
  • Temaki (1 piece)
  • Futo (5 pieces)
  • Gunkan (2 pieces)
  • O&C Specialties
  • Set Heni
  • Sushi Party
  • Sushi Cakes (for takeaway only)
  • Desserts
As for the food, to tell you the truth, I was not impressed at all to say the least:
  • Crispy Salmon: Served on red cabbage and iceberg lettuce, a mountain of salmon cubes marinated in a spicy mayo sauce and covered with crispy crisps. The salmon has a bizarre hard consistency, served on cabbage leaves.
  • Crab Salad: Served with cucumbers, carrots and crisps topped with Tobiko mixed with mayonnaise. A traditional plate that's as good as you expect it to be; it's not too complicated to do after all.
  • Mango Dragon: Served warm, eight rolls of mango wrapping a thick portion of breaded shrimps. It has an interesting sweetness and a tasty feel but the rice is too soggy and the breading on the shrimp was too thick.
  • Maki Rolls: The crispy salmon was way too finely, shredded giving it a purée-like consistency, too small and too dry.
  • Crab Rolls: Very dull, they lack any innovation.
  • Temaki: Some nori papers are chewy while others are not, but the filling is generous.
  • Lebanese Special: Why on earth would someone eat Lebanese bread with rice? A chewy and heavy mix that's really nonsense - do not order it!
  • As an overall feel, pieces are dry and have a dull taste, I was expecting much better.
I'm not sure how to describe it but the sushi at O&C is commercial, where things are done quickly in order to serve customers rapidly. That is not acceptable nor understandable when you receive the bill and discover that the average check is $50 per person, that's as expensive as Tsunami or Ichiban, both of which offer much tastier food to say the least.

The good things:

  • Marc, the supervisor, is a professional person who was on the look out for any mistake his team might have made.
  • Complimentary desserts are offered after your meal:  custard, jello and mouhallabiya distributed on a wooden tray. I liked the gesture not the taste
  • The staff is happy and welcoming.
I would change:
  • The decoration: The way it is now doesn't really fit the place... Dark bizarre old-fashioned colors and lines.
  • Add paper placemats. The place will look and feel cleaner. Is it healthy to put the cutlery immediately on a table that might be dirty? black masking dirty spots?
  • They don't serve big bottles of San Pellegrino: We are in a supermarket after all, and those bottles are available down below. Offering them would be a plus.
  • The restaurant should have private access without having to pass by the supermarket.
  • For the love of God, stop using those ugly plastic green leaves.

The super annoying:

  • The beeping sound of the cashier scratches your ears all through dinner. This is a perfect recipe for a headache or it will make you want to leave in a hurry.

I personally don't understand why I would come pay $100 to eat in a supermarket, where sushi wasn’t great and when other cozy places offer a better selection created more meticulously, offered in a "restaurant" ambiance.

Tags: Sushi





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