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Mhanna Sur Mer, Maintains its Title of Excellence
Mhanna Sur Mer: The Perfect Lebanese Seafood Restaurant
Mhanna Sur Mer is one of my favorite Lebanese/Seafood restaurants for as long as I can remember. It has been an address I head down to year after year to enjoy some good and tasty local cuisine by the Mediterranean seashore . I have given it a 91/100 the first time and a 94/100 on another occasion... Let's see what they get this time round.
Located in the heart of Amchit, up the rock cliff next to Camping Amchit and few meters before Babel Bahr, is a fine Lebanese seafood restaurant that offers an experience that's never deceiving. Professional and welcoming, good waiters and some fine food is what you can expect as you enter Mhanna Sur Mer.
- Reach the entrance and take the elevator to level zero where an open space welcomes you in.
- A well lit rectangular shaped room with a high ceiling and a relaxing ambiance of white and beige colors.
- To the right, a welcoming area with sofas and a large LCD TV showing a DVD about sea life.
- Take the two steps down to the dining space where tables are set up on both sides, they’re beige with white stripes table cloths covering them.
- At the end, you’ll find the bar and where the accounting team controls everything.
- Large glass facades give away the beautiful view.
An unpleasant fact. This is the first time we sit inside as we wanted to sit in an air-conditioned room and away from the smoking area. For the love of God, why? Why allow smoking inside? With a terrace that can host a 1,000 guests, why break the law, why oblige us all to be second hand smokers? Why the unprofessionalism, why? Have you heard of Law 174?
- The stuffed vine leaves were so light, so fresh and so soft. Adequately sour and just plain tasty. The goat cheese labneh is cylinder-shaped and hard as a rock, that is what makes its unique. Just add olive oil and enjoy. The tabbouleh was fresh, cut in small cubes and almost without borghol. Battenjen was well dosed without a strong acidic eruption that tickles your palate. Hommos was served lightly warm, flowing on your tongue in style. The mashed potato the excellent and beautifully seasoned... The food was excellent. All were enjoyed with Mhanna's homemade Lebanese bread, in a size bigger than the normal one we know.
- Mezze done, now let's move to some serious things. Halloum wrapped in Lebanese bread, covered with zaatar and topped with a cherry tomato; very innovative and tasty. The halloum alone is unique, so imagine it with all the rest. Cheese rakakat, each 15cm, not spilling, crunchy, stuffed, non salty and tasty. The kebbe was crunchy, an enjoyable thin envelope and stuffed with premium meat. Sambousik, don't ask, I had three. The birds with pomegranate molasses were excellent. Yum! Try the makanek with pomegranate molasses, their tenderness and rich sauce. The taouk was tender and tasty. Dinner put a smile on all our faces.
- The only thing I'd improve was the meat and hommos plate. This plate was too salty, the meat too chewy, the fat bits too prominent and the overall mix too dry. Even the pine nuts were not fried enough. I’d use meat that's tenderer, use less fat, keep the meat and pine nuts mix on top and the final taste should be less salty and there we are. Reconsider this please.
Every Detail Counts:
- Branded plates and cups
- A nice cozy lighting illuminates the inner and outer space
- Continuous fresh air from dozens of fans that will sooth off the summer’s heat
- Homemade hot bread served generously
- Rich portions, nicely presented
- Plates are not thrown on the table one on top of the other, service is handled with style
And now, enough food and time for desserts: A feast for your eyes... a whole table filled with watermelon, melon, mespilus, bananas, blackcurrants, strawberries and pears along with some carefully crafted desserts. Individual portions of sweets: nylon wrapped biscuits and Turkish delights on nylon paper floating on the plate. A complementary table for this exquisite dinner, we paid $50 per person, all inclusive.
Yes, I do still recommend Mhanna and would come back again, but I will sit outside, enjoy the view and ambiance while indulging in some fine Lebanese cuisine.