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Restaurant Mounir, Broumana
Mounir: The Place, The View, The Fresh Air and Tasty Food
I always considered Mounir as a first stop for any tourist arriving to Lebanon. Up on the hills of Broumana overlooking Beirut is a restaurant I believe every Lebanese knows about.
At the entrance is where the experience starts. Flowers and stones lead to the terrace facing the waterfalls. Thousands of flowers of different colors, water flowing on some big rocks and a large pergola covering the tables.
The restaurant is divided into two spaces. The tables facing the view covered with white tablecloths while those on the fountain side are covered with red table clothes. It reminded me of the Lebanese flag.
More than 22 years old, the restaurant is today managed by Mounir's son who looks into every detail personally. The head waiter, in a grey suit and a pink tie with a staff that knows the nitty gritty details of the job. Hassan, for example, is a waiter who has worked here since the hotel's first days.
The signatures here are the watermelon, mountains of them welcoming you as you walk in.
For lunch we had a selection of Mezze, the usual Lebanese dishes, where hummus, labneh, raw kebbe and salads can't but be part of your meal.
I love the plates' presentation, the generosity of the hummus, filled to top with rounded borders, the full plate of fries, the colorful salads, the meat choices and add-ons like olives and pickles.
The hummus is good, moutabbal as well, the fries hand cut and fresh, hummus with Lahme loaded with pine nuts - considering a kilo sells for LBP90,000 nowadays- the moudardara is tasty. But the rest can be better.
The meat is a bit chewy, the cheese rolls are empty inside, the kebbe has an extremely chewy envelope, the sambousik are not crispy enough, but that's not a big issue when you're welcomed by a staff that only wants you to be satisfied.
Since day one, I always considered Mounir as a great escape for tourists. A place where generosity, Lebanese culture, welcoming and beautiful nature blend together. For us Lebanese, the food could be better, it lacks flavor and richness. Many little details are missing in order for this restaurant to become part of Lebanon's top10 Lebanese restaurants list.
- The Good: The place is great, beautifully decorated and a pride, one can show to tourists visiting Lebanon.
- The Bad: Food needs lots of work. It's not bad but lacks flavor and taste.
- The Verdict: I like this place and will visit it when I have the chance to.
Receiving guests from abroad, feeling like spending Sunday with the family or maybe enjoying a beautiful view surrounded by fresh colors? Mounir is a place you might want to consider.