Maison M is this building taking over the inner Antelias-Naccach road up to Rabieh. Maison M is a Lebanese restaurant, a delicatessen, as well as a lounge. A four story building designed to please all tastes.
I'm a fan of their market, which I visit on a weekly basis: Fresh food, tasty sushi on the go, a wide selection of items as well as a bakery and pastry corner with tasty offerings. The market is a recommendation but I wish I could say the same about the restaurant.
On the third floor is the lounge, the C.Lounge. Take the elevator and press "3". Beautiful! A real lounge, a cigar lounge-style, filled with wood and leather. A floor covered with large strips of rugged wood topped with glass tables surrounded by leather sofas. Over that is a glass ceiling opening on Lebanon's clear blue skies and stared nights. At the end is a salad station and a bar which seems to be the focus of the place.
In the background, a calm music plays, sourced from Greece with an oriental touch. I liked the black leather, the light brown sofas, the LED lights hanging from the ceiling, and the wooden structures supporting the place. The first impression regarding the space is good... The waiters and menu are not.
This isn't a positive review...
As for the service, it's rudimentary. Tables left dirty, placemats with splashes of oil and waiters that do not smile or even have a welcoming attitude. Too calm, too serious and a bit pushy, it feels as if they want you to leave before even arriving. The menus are simply a disaster. White papers with a couple lines written on, no photos, a small font, oil spots, pages coming apart... The menu has nothing to do with the place's theme and level. I would change the paper quality, make the font bigger, add photos and add some choices for sure. What does the "finest selection of cheese" mean? Why does it have that many blank pages? PS: "It's Purslane not Bakle".
- Italian touch
- Main courses
- Sweet chili shrimp martini LBP18,000
- Eggplant Tartine LBP15,000
- Salmon Tartine LBP18,500
- Calamari salad LBP24,000
- Four cheese pizza LBP24,000
- Crab Salad LBP12,500
- Sake Spicy salmon salad LBP21,000
- A bread basket landed on the table. A basket of chewy bread stored back in the kitchen in nylon bags. Bread produced in the morning and not even heated or toasted; Not good.
- The sushi salad comes with a spoon and fork which is usually not the tradition in such cases. In Japanese restaurants a spoon or fork are not used: It's not a Fattouch. The portions are tiny, a large bowl half filled with lettuce. On top is a fresh portion of spicy crispy salmon good for only one person. I've already reviewed Maison M's sushi and the delivery items are good. "Sake Salmon"; didn't feel the sake at all. The crab and cucumber salad is s good as any average restaurant does it.
- Now for the tartines. I though I'd be receiving a sandwich, a crunchy bread, something innovative, a large open face tartine with fresh bread, but instead we had a plate on which were positioned two rectangular pieces of what was supposedly focaccia bread, a chewy bread topped with the ingredients. Cooked eggplant with tomato sauce, goat's cheese cream -which doesn't taste like goat's cheese- and rocket leaves with walnuts. Bizarre to say the least.
- The salmon tartine was dry, needs more salmon and less bread. Not impressed.
- The calamari salad is a generous portion of fresh greens mixed with purslane that makes all the difference; it adds a special flavor I liked. Grilled calamari served warm with a light, grilled taste. The lemony flavored pomegranate molasses sauce adds a touch of sweetness. A good salad.
- I didn't like the pizza: I personally didn't understand this pizza. A Lebanese style pizza close to the ready-made ones, chewy and loaded with an overdose of cheese. Blue cheese overpowers all the other ingredients. This pizza is square, different from the usual ones we know, with a dough that's too thick and too chewy.
- The Martini shrimps are an attempt to copy the famous dynamite shrimps of PF Chang. Not bad for a starter despite the thick, crunchy and sticky caramelized chunks. A bit too caramelized, but good.
The verdict: The food is average.
- Service is bad and slow. They have the typical attitude and manners of bad restaurant employees.
- The Greek music becomes really annoying after some time.
- Those huge glass plates are not appetizing to eat from. They look like fruit serving bowls.
- Pepsi only! Why is that when Coca-Cola is sold in the supermarket below? I think they've made exclusivity deals to maximize profit.
- Being allowed to take pictures or not is my personal issue and not a problem for me. Asking a client's name because he is taking pictures of his food is a form of disrespect.
- Again, the service is bad and manager lacks finesse, he doesn't have any.
- The olive oil bottle, from Aradina, is not the original one. The oil has been refilled and mixed with chili peppers. Expiry date erased from the bottle.
- The place smells of cigarettes. How unpleasant that would be while you eat?
- The bill is the same you receive at the supermarket below with the cashier name on. I believe that you expect to have your waiter's name on a restaurant's bill.
I was expecting way better. I'd personally stick to the market for now until I visit their Lebanese restaurant for a comparison.