July 18, 2013 Beirut Lebanon Middle East

Phoenicia Beirut: An Iftar Not to Miss Before the Month Ends
Non-smokers friendly
Fine Dining

Mosaic, Phoenicia Mosaic, Phoenicia
3.7 out of 5 based on 1 professional review.

RATING:74/100

Welcoming: 5/5

Food Temperature: 7/10

Ambiance / Music: 8.5/10

Menu Choice: 5/5

Food Taste: 24/30

Architecture / Interior: 8/10

Food presentation: 9/10

Service: 8/10

Value for money: Soon

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Having Iftar with some of my friends has become a regular thing for me this Ramadan. I get to discover new horizons, meeting with people, talking and of course tasting new food...I have heard a lot about the Phoenicia Hotel's grand Iftar. One of the best in town they say, so I decided to pay them a visit, especially after the disappointing encounter few days ago at the Moevenpick Hotel Beirut

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Arriving at the entrance of the Phoenicia Hotel, you feel the grandiose feel of this well lit entrance, where crystal decoration along with beautiful reflections of lights are just waiting to welcome you inside. We arrived at 7pm and go up the first floor and take your right to enter the Mosaic restaurant, where a lot of people have already taken their seat. Mosaic, has been known to serve a rich buffet all year long for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Around 365 days a year, unless there's some emergency, you can pass by this place to eat as much as you want.

More than a dozen stations are ready to fulfill your hunger...

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After showing us to our table, I decided to walk around to fulfill my eyes with the rich plates and their decorations. What caught my attention before even the Iftar started is the welcoming ambiance and happy feel that follows you around the premisses. The staff, waiters, head of sections and chefs are so relaxed, smiling and awaiting to answer to your every question and need. The Mosaic restaurant is a very large space, which is totally full during daily Iftars. Each corner has its food section, to avoid people from bumping into each other too much. Located around the restaurant the fresh food dissipates interesting aromas which open your appetite even more.

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I can say, that the tiny little majestic details are endless:

  • A high end hotel setup and luxurious ambiance
  • A full table setup, two forks, two knifes, a soup bowl and two cups
  • A glass for water and another for syrup
  • The dishes presentations are different one from the other and setup in a professional way
  • A beautiful dessert section, colorful and mouthwatering
  • Oriental desserts are setup on ice to stay fresh: Ice, to keep them cold because they contain Achta, avoiding food poisoning
  • The bread is prepared on the spot
  • Fire decoration rings add warmth to the space
  • Dimmed lighting relaxes your senses
  • Choose between high tables, round ones or the normal rectangular ones
  • The plates are from a high-end quality: Royal Porcelain
  • Food from all around the world: An Indian chef coming directly from India and an Asian chef from Thailand

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At the door, a fresh salad bar welcomes you. To the right is the bread section and to the left, you will find long tables of more than 150 different plates generously filled to serve 300 persons every night. Yes, the biggest and most generous buffet in Lebanon, is here at the Phoenicia Intercontinental Hotel of Beirut.
 
After having a chat with the assistant chef of Mosaic, Mohammad Allam, I was enticed to try everything they were offering.  He described how they prepare their daily menu with such intense passion that made me want to eat from everything. You have to know that every single ingredient at Mosaic is fresh. From seafood, to meat, bread and desserts, all are received on a daily basis and cooked on spot: Nothing is frozen and reheated.
 
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The Different sections distributed around the Mosaic restaurant:

  • The cold section
  • The cold oriental
  • Soups
  • Salad platters
  • Salad Bar
  • Hot international
  • Hot oriental
  • Barbecue
  • Fridges
  • Live station
  • Oriental live station
  • Indian section
  • Chawarma section
  • Oriental pastry
  • International pastry

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The wide menu of endless choices:

  • Smoked salmon and salmon tartare
  • Shrimps and marinated mussels
  • Hummus, moutabbal, tabbouleh, basterma
  • Cabbage salad
  • Mousakaa
  • Halloumi cheese with tomato
  • Potato salad
  • Mohammara, Moujaddara, Labneh
  • Thyme salad with tomato, Chanklish
  • Rocca salad
  • Beef salami with tomato salad
  • Italian lentil salad
  • Greek marinated mussels
  • Sundried tomato with cheese salad
  • Asiatique beef salad
  • Hawayen shrimps salad
  • Vitello tomato
  • Crab salad with honey mustard sauce
  • Salad Bar (23 different choices of vegetables)
  • Brocoli and cauliflower with peanuts
  • Potato surprise
  • Lamb navarin
  • Sole filet with lavender sauce
  • Chicken with smoked turkey
  • Nouille phoenicien
  • Chicken sweet and sour
  • Jasmin rince
  • Kouusa bil laban, kebbeh bel saniyeh, rice
  • Fish provencal
  • Artichoke ragout
  • Chicken with rice and vegetables
  • Barbecue
  • Cheese and cold cuts selection
  • Live pasta station
  • Frikeh with stuffed lamb
  • Cheese and meat arayess
  • Quesadillas
  • Lamb beryani, vegetable curry, chicken tikka
  • Chciken and meat shawarma

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The dessert proposed tonight:
  • Basma bil festouk
  • Kol wou Chkor pines
  • Ghuraibi pistachio
  • Hadaf
  • Kol wou Shkor chocolate
  • Maamoul mad bio tamer
  • Nammoura
  • Ballorieh
  • Maamoul Mad bio Jawz
  • Barazik
  • Wared el Sham
  • Halawit el Jibn
  • Halabino
  • Katayef bil Ashta
  • Ismallieh
  • Halewit el rez
  • Madlouka
  • Katayef bel Joz
  • Mafrouke
  • Choclate eclair
  • Oum Ali
  • Light Katayef bel joz
  • Light black forest
  • Light Basma
  • Raspbery white chocolate cake
  • apple tart
  • Success
  • Chocolate mousse
  • Pineaple tart
  • Knefe bil jebne
  • Knefe bil Ashta
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I liked:
  • The endless choices of food
  • Kol wou Shkor Chocolate: A tasty premiere for me
  • The light dessert section
  • The pack of cards on every table, representing your table number and that you can use to order some food and ask for it to be delivered
  • Al Amm Nassib, takes care of your after dinner coffee
  • A Oud player, adds an oriental touch to the night
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The food is really good: Going into all its details is not possible. Below are some of the things I liked
  • Artichoke salad is great, adequately crunchy and adequately seasoned
  • Fresh mussels in ice are premium
  • Salmon is not oily and not fatty
  • Moudardara is good
  • Manakeesh bites are tasty even though cold
  • Pasta is hot and aldente
  • Shrimps are awesome
  • The Mexican section is tasty
  • The desserts are really fantastic
  • I enjoyed eating their warm kellaj
  • Chocolate eclair is richly filled and taste cocoa
  • Macaron are good for a Lebanese production
  • The Asmaliya is crunchy and fresh
  • Halawat el Jeben is mouthwatering
  • Even the Jellab, is better than the one I had couple of days ago at another iftar
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Some minor things are to be fixed: 
  • The Shawarma is too chewy. Urgently needs a fix. This is one of the few things I didn't like
  • The food, even though covered get's cold fast
With all due respect to the others around, the Phoenicia's Iftar is one of the best in town not to say the best. For 83,000L.L (55$), you can eat all you want like a king. It is worth it to try it at least once during this month.
 
Suitable For: Fine Dining

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