October 14, 2013 Beirut Lebanon Middle East

Momo's at the Souks: A Fusion Between Tradition and Modernity (Restaurant Closed)


Welcoming: 5/5

Food Temperature: 6/10

Ambiance / Music: 8/10

Menu Choice: 5/5

Food Taste: 26/30

Architecture / Interior: 10/10

Food presentation: 9/10

Service: 6/10

Value for money: Soon

I'll have to admit  and you're righ, it took me some time to publish a review about Momo's but here I am with a complete one about a dinner where almost everything on the menu was tried.

Faithful to his origins, restaurateur Mourad Mazouz says that he has discovered in Beirut, the perfect fusion between tradition and modernity in an Arabic Mediterranean city. Because in Lebanon everything seems possible, he has decided to make it the setting of his newest venture. Just on top of the Jewellery Souks, right in the center of Beirut, Momo at the Souks overlooks the “tohu bohu” of the Lebanese capital. With Annabel Karim Kassar and Violaine Jantet, Mourad Mazouz has created a paradise of curiosity mixing vintage furniture, designer pieces and made to measure fixtures in the most wonderful shell of a hanging garden.


From London to Dubai and Lebanon, Mourad Mazouz, the famed restaurateur of Sketch in London, the 404 and Derrière in Paris, brings a new and fresh outlook on the Beirut restaurant scene with his latest venture, Momo at the Souks. From the Souks, you will immediately notice the warm light emanating from the lanterns in the gardens on the second floor. If you have a coat or a jacket, surrender it to the impressive dry-cleaning rack smartly set overhead. Take the elevator up. The restaurant is a blend of elegance and style. Designed by Annabel Kassar, it is adorned with hand-painted walls depicting flowers and exotic birds. The ceiling is an origami of planes that fold and meet at angles in a very unique and original way. Opposite the restaurant, you will find the café-bar that serves French, Moroccan, Lebanese mezze from midday to midnight and afternoon tea. At night, the bar serves some of the best cocktails in town with some original recipes to try.


But perhaps the most remarkable feature of this restaurant, making it truly unique, is its beautiful terrace gardens. There, sitting back on comfortable chairs, surrounded by orange trees, pomegranate trees and jasmine, you will truly feel as though you are in a garden. More than a restaurant but a vision, from the humble entrance lobby to the electrifying bathrooms on the third floor, is carefully designed to enhance the visitor’s experience. At Momo’s you can truly witness the point where simplicity meets style.

North African flavors meet some more traditional French recipes.
The foie gras is served with green beans, the ratatouille comes with feta cheese and the seafood is wrapped in briouats. The restaurant unveils a mixed and rich menu… There are at least 15 different dishes that can be enjoyed as starters: Gambas salad, tuna tartare, chicken livers, pigeon pastilla, Pata Negra... Strong flavors to provide guests with the best of a delightful culinary experience. The wide range of main courses will also delight all palates. Simple in their composition, the dishes put the accent on taste and flavors.
The place hidden wonders:
  • While walking through the souks, a multicolored sign will show you to the restaurant
  • You can't but notice this piece of unique design pending above your head. Hand her your coat before taking the elevator to the first floor
  • The more the elevator goes up, the more details will be revealed. On the right, the lounge with its dimmed lighting, middle bar and colorful setup
  • The restaurant to the right, protected by a glass door that hides the inner treasures
  • In the middle next to the elevator, the kitchen action appears behind the glass wall centered between the two automatic doors one to each side of the venue; lounge or restaurant
  • The restaurant is really impressive and a must see, filled with hundreds of colors and design items that will keep you standing mesmerized. A mix of civilizations in a blend of design, colors and textures every person should lay an eye on
  • Both restaurants and lounge have green terraces that will transport you into another world, away from the busy capital
  • The white ceiling of the restaurant soothes the action beneath
  • Black floor emphasis even more the middle action
  • Design sculptures decorate all the walls
  • Chairs and tables from different sizes and shapes with a million colors are perfectly set to fill the space
  • Round tables outside are pleasant for business or family gatherings
Dinner started with smoked butter prepared with paprika and parmesan sablés offered with two baskets filled with different kinds of warm and tasty homemade bread. The bread is exquisite: Cheese with garlic or bun with cumin or simple crunchy French baguette
We ordered to share:
  • MECHOUIA ZAALOUCK: Eggplant caviar, sweet pepper salad, 12,000 LL
  • RAVIOLE: Homemade green ravioles, spinach, pine nuts, ricotta, boursin, gorgonzola sauce, 24,000 LL
  • GAMBAS ATAYEF: Tiger prawns atayef, spicy mango coulis, 28,000 LL
  • QUINOA: Warm organic quinoa, goat cheese sphere, corn cream, fresh baby spinach, 21,000 LL
  • SALADE DE LENTILLES: Du Puy lentil salad, cherry tomatoes, chives, 16,000 LL
  • HUMMUS CHAMPIGNONS: Hummus with sautéed mushrooms, chilli pesto with fresh mushrooms and yellow sauce 8,000LL


  • PATA NEGRA: Freshly sliced pata negra, country bread toast, tomato pulp, coarse salt, 39,000 LL
  • SAINT-JACQUES: Pan seared sea scallops, eggplants, grilled gam- bas, chickpea cream, wild thyme & grapefruit salad, 36,000 LL
The main courses:
  • TAJINE DE POULET FERMIER: Farmed chicken with lemon confit, olives, saffron potatoes, served in a clay dish, 41,000 LL
  • COUSCOUS MOMO: Vegetables in broth, méchoui lamb shoulder,grilled chicken skewer, wood oven grilled merguez, 57,000 LL
  • CÔTE DE BŒUF: Wood oven grilled beef rib (for two), with creamed spinach and potato puree, 130,000 LL
  • BOEUF STROGANOFF FAÇON MOMO: Beef tenderloin, mushrooms, pepper confit, smoked paprika, potato, 48,000 LL
The culinary experience:
Food at Momo's is bizarrely complicated but tasty at the same time. Many of you won't understand it or won't accept it but believe me, the flavors, textures and aromas are unique. Each one of the plates is unique by itself adding to the simplicity of the Lebanese cuisine and international hint of modernism that will put a smile on your face. I personally liked almost all the plates even though the Moroccan spices are used extensively everywhere. My preferred plates are the gambas atayef and its crunchy skin, the mushroom hummus and the fine touch brought to this traditional plate and the ravioli that are just perfect on all levels. On another hand I didn't like the Quinoa soup they call a salad and I wouldn't order the Pata Negra again as I found this plate with no sense. The boeuf stroganoff is interesting prepared in a special way without rice and the generosity of the main plates is nice. I loved the side orders with my cote de boeuf specially the creamed spinach.
The minuses not to say the unacceptable:
  • White wine glasses were filled to top like water again and again just to oblige us to order another bottle. Wine should not be served more than two fingers full
  • We ordered an additional portion of sables and are still waiting to date
  • Hummus and Mechouya should be served with lebanese bread. Would you eat hummus with a fork?
  • Waiters should work more on their English and french. Even though polite, their language are funny, not fitting in such a fine place
The cote de boeuf came cold... literally cold. When we asked to have it heated all what the manager had to say is that it will be overcooked. When such a problem arises the portion should have been changed. It was reheated, but came back colder than before. We left it as is.

 The pluses:

  • The place is beautiful
  • I loved and enjoyed the background music
  • The plates are creative and nicely presented
  • Almost everything was tasty

I enjoyed this place even though I found it overpriced. It's a must see but not a restaurant you'll visit everyday.





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Momo's at the Souks: A Fusion Between Tradition and Modernity (Restaurant Closed)