Voila, our tour around Badaro continues... And here we are in a place called Orient Express. I loved the name and always wanted to come here simply because my dream trip one day is to take the Orient Express train around the world. I can't do that right now... so maybe this place can take me somewhere...
In the heart of Badaro, the new trendy street, Orient Express welcomes you for lunch and dinner as well as after hours drinks served at the bar. A cozy place where a large library fills the left wall while the bar takes over the right side.
On the left wall, books, a chess game, Awan tea boxes and decorative items set over a long bench following the wall. Marble tables, high stools, wooden chairs, the decor is simple and funky.
Facing the entrance, two tables are set higher than the others with a bench on one side and high black stools on the other. In the middle of the shop over old lebanese tiles are four tables brought close one to the other creating a large square decorated with a bonsai tree.
- The homemade lasagna slab
So we ordered:
- Worst behavior LBP8,000: (bacon wrapped, goat cheese stuffed dates). Four pieces each containing a tender date stuffed with a generous portion of goat cheese and wrapped with a chewy bacon. To start with, those rolls were received cold and burned on the sides. Loved the different textures and flavors combined but not the cold part and surely not the black burned parts. I believe the bacon should be crispy, use less cheese and make it more equilibrated. Honestly, there is nothing exceptional about it.
- Artichoke and spinach dip LBP12,000: (artichoke hearts, spinach, cream cheese, Parmigiano). A rectangular porcelain plate where a mix of shredded artichokes is mixed with parmesan cheese and cream cheese and served with sliced brown baguette. I personally found the plate a bit too salty, lemony and creamy while I was searching for a body, a strength, a rich flavor.
- TBM LBP16,000: (tomato, basil, mozzarella buffala). Simple and straight to the point, that's an interesting sandwich. A ciabatta fresh bread that's not chewy filled with thick slices of mozzarella, Roquettes leaves for the crisp and an olive oil dressing that makes the sandwich Italian and flavorful. Next to that are baked chips and a portion of housemade salad. I believe it needs to be filled with more mozzarella.
- Louie's favorite LBP14,000: (Brie, Roquettes, apple mandoline, walnut, balsamic reduction). Again, an interesting simplicity. A fresh bun, a crunchy apple for the sweetness and acidity, crispy Roquettes and a tender portion of brie. A bit more cheese would have made it perfect. Simple, clear and tasty.
- The homemade de lasagna slab LBP18,000: the signature, for a reason. A new version of the tomato lasagna I know is constituted of layers of al dente cooked lasagna stuffed with minced meat and lots of richness. Despite it's over oiliness, loved its crispy borders, firm feel, premium quality of the meat and seasoning. That's a good loaded lasagna filled with LBP18,000 of good ingredients.
Not having crepe to serve us, we were offered a chocolate tart which I appreciated a lot.
- Chocolate tart: enjoyed that one a lot. A tiny portion it is but one that's full of tasty, superbly crispy bottom, flavorful soft chocolate cream creating something that's memorable.
Service at Orient Express is very good, staff is welcoming and the places vibes transported me to Europe. Come here for a bite or a quick drink.
To be very honest, the food was acceptable but has nothing exceptional enough to make me want to come back. I believe it needs a pinch of love, a spoonful of passion and a hint of finesse.