A place, left unattended for years looked nothing like a restaurant. But when I saw it, I couldn't resist the temptation and decided to grow my home catering business to a restaurant where food is prepared the same authentic homey way. A mirror, an open kitchen and few tables became a dream come true in a short period of time."
One rule primes, and that is "cleanliness" which I had the chance to see for myself inside Samia's little heaven. A kitchen cleaner that of a surgery room. Every casserole and every utensil is perfectly cleaned and placed at its place. A beehive, where bees follow the order of their queen in a synchronized way, all covered from head to toe.
Facing Mathaf and behind the Volvo showroom you'll see a small neon sign next to black and white fabrics protecting the restaurant from sun. Reach a terrace outside a square with glass and black metal facades.
Samia, "I", welcomes you into her home. A blackboard outside, displays the menu which will prepare you for one of the greatest culinary experiences you will be encountering the next couple of hours.
The place described:
- Two large doors facing the National Museum
- An outdoor terrace
- Metallic facades painted in black welcomes the right amount of light
- The floor is covered with green old Lebanese tiles with a single alley of colorful tiles
- High ceiling with for pending lights
- Two fridges, one filled with a large choice of soft drinks (Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Almaza, 961beer, Perrier and San Pellegrino) and the other contains some desserts (meghle, mouhallabiya and amareddine)
- The facing wall, covered with a large mirror reflects the outside road which makes the place look twice as big
- Under the mirror, a long sofa of all the place's colors concentrated in one design piece
- Square wooden tables surrounded with Lebanese style chairs covered with leather seating. The restaurant's logo is imprinted in each chair
- At the right, the kitchen appears behind the clear glass with a buffet displaying the desserts, a glass bucket and three wine bottles
In the kitchen, homemade pickles, cleanliness and a beehive of more than ten persons all working in a synchronized way to serve today's demanding clientele. I had the chance to have a quick tour inside which finished with a smile... If only all restaurants' kitchens in Lebanon are as clean and good looking as Mum&I's is.
Lunch started with a plate of radishes and another of green olives...
- Mloukhie 28,000L.L
- Daoud Bacha 22,000L.L
- Kebbe Arnabie 28,000L.L
- Bazella w Riz 22,000L.L
- Batenjen Raheb 13,000L.L
- Salatet Loubie w Batata 12,000L.L
- Lahme bi Ajin 4,000L.L
- Salatet Banadoura Harra 8,000L.L
- Foul Mdammas 12,000L.L
- Fattouch 8,000L.L
- Tabboule 8,000L.L
- Hommos 8,000L.L
- Mtabbal 8,000L.L
- Soujok 15,000L.L
- Makanek 15,000L.L
- Orange Juice
- Sharab el Wared
- Sharab el Tout
- Beers (961 and Almaza)
- Soft drinks (Pepsi or Coke)
The food is succulent:
- Soujok: Cut in slices and marinated with lemon and pomegranate molasses. Soft and tender, melts like butter with a perfect seasoning. I can honestly say that I haven't had such tasty and tender Soujok before, not even in Burj Hammoud. They are unique!
- Spicy Tomato salad: Onions and green pepper salad. Just look at how beautiful the photo is. Simple yet succulent. Tomatoes, onions and green pepper. Lovely!
- Makanek. Awesome! Soft with no crunchy skin. This is the first time I taste something that good. And the sauce is what's needed to make the experience continue even longer
- Eggplant Salad: A lemon dressing, with soft eggplant, tomatoes, parsley and served in a flower shape. Simply yummy!
- Green Beans and Potato Salad: Crunchy long beans and soft cube of potatoes in lemon sauce. A mix of different consistencies and strong aromas. Incredible!
- Lahme Beajine: Crunchy on the sides, thin, richly filled, no garlic, with a slight spicy aftertaste. Ouf! Premium meat, an awesome dough, that perfect crunchiness. Indescribable!
- Kebbe: This is something that should be written in our history books. Dried raisins, pomegranate, meat and peanuts. Can you imagine? Indescribable and out of this world. Lightly sweet, crunchy with an after spicy taste. Really unique
- Arnabieh: That's yummy. A generous plate, filled with arnabiye and rice. Very well done, the real homey way.
- Daoud Bacha: Tomato, pine seeds, meat balls and rice. Super yummy... As good as my grandmother's which was the best.
- Mouloukhieh: Served with toasted bread, chicken breast and vinegar dressing. Fresh, green and tasty
- Berghol w Banadoura. Served with cumin.
Desserts: As tasty as the main dishes
- Mango Cheese Cake: Three layers in perfect proportions. This cheese cake is not sweet and not creamy - covered with a layer of mango jelly, all over a crunchy piece of biscuit. I loved it
- Carrot Cake: A real carrot flavor, crunchy nuts, spongy and juicy feel. An amazing taste after swallowing, caresses your tongue and throat. That's a cake I dream of eating every morning.
- Meghle: Yes, the best meghle I had to date. Extraordinary!
- Mouhallabiya: After tasting Mum&I's Mouhallabiya, I can clearly say that is my second best after Fouad's which is my favourite.
- Chocolate Tart: Great. Dark chocolate cream covering a crunchy biscuit. Yum!
The things I love:
- A calm place with no echoes
- No music is required to create any kind of entertainment
- Nice crowd of people who come almost daily come to eat something tasty
- A casual and perfectly lit place
What a place, what a pleasant experience among smiley and polite clientele, awesome food, a great host and much much more... After lunch, I looked at my wife and said: "This place is impressive, I couldn't find a single negative detail. I am impressed." And I mean it. Today, I was magically hypnotized.