One place I would call a ‘less than below average restaurant’ is Set Zmerrod. A place they call "a Lebanese restaurant" is located in the heart of Kaslik, facing Westgate Diner. You arrive to a common parking for three distinctive venues: a roof restaurant, a Shisha lounge and the ‘famous’ Set Zmerrod. I went there with two of my friends, an experience I would rather not repeat in this life time or even the next! Yes, that bad!
It all starts with a horrible first impression:
- A big "Non Smoking" sign decorates the entrance, but that is where it stops. Smoke from narguille hovers over the restaurant. I felt I was walking into a magic show where I will disappear in a second… Everyone was smoking inside and outside as if there is no smoking ban law in Lebanon.
- The place is too brownish and too dark
- An unpleasant decoration
- Wooden square tables inside and plastic ones on the outside
- Brown thick porcelain plates
- A pergola with glass vitrines giving a view on Kaslik's main road
- Brown leather placemats decorate the tables
I should describe the waiters to you. A couple of kids dragging themselves unhappily across the restaurant with their bad energy. They obviously hate their jobs. The girl answers your questions by force, making you feel bad for even troubling her with your questions. We arrived at 2pm and waited exactly until 02:20 for someone to take the order.
- Jebnet el sett zmerrod
- Hommos w snawbar
- Lahmeh rass Asfour
- Labneh baladieh
- Kebbet batata bel jozz
- Saj mshakal
- Ghazel el Banet with Kachta ice cream
- We received the mix Saj platter before the cold mezze. It contained one small piece of each and we are three. Should we divide each tiny piece into three even smaller pieces? Shouldn't the waiter inform us that the plate is not sufficient for three? Furthermore, the dough was undercooked and the ingredients used are oily and not tasty. A first total failure.
- Following came the mezze that were served without bread. And we waited... 20 minutes, until we decided to call the waiter for some bread.
- The Fattouch is good and tasty
- Mdardra is acceptable
- Kebbet Batata is disastrous. Even horrible. It feels like raw kebbe and looks unappetizing. A light violet color that blocks all your senses
- Hommos is very hard and sticky. It's simply a can of Hummus served on a plate. Inedible.
- Labneh baladieh? Isn't that dish supposed to be hard like all Lebanese restaurants serve it? It's more of a Bonjus low quality labneh we used to eat at scout camps
- Ras Asfour meat is chewy and tastes too bitter from the excess use of lemon. They mixed it with mushrooms, spoiling the whole taste further. Unacceptable!
- The dessert ice cream is not appealing and not even tasty. I think they use the lowest quality Kachta ever.
- Ventilation system was off
- Service is super slow. Unacceptably slow
- The waiter is unpleasant, unprofessional and did not tweak a smile the whole time
- The water bottle was just thrown on the table and not even served. We opened it and served ourselves
- Portions are very small and very expensive for what they are
- The shisha guy was smoking in the middle of the restaurant. You must see it to believe it. I felt like helping him with the charcoal.
- Markouk bread is very chewy and so unpleasant to eat
- Plates are all broken
To make a long list short: this restaurant should close its doors – a restaurant with a below average food and service… I now know why people come here to smoke! The food is inedible... That's all they can do in such a low level restaurant!
Imagine, the Shisha guy smoking like all other guests. Yes, the Arguile waiter was simply smoking and enjoying himself in the middle of the restaurant. I felt like serving him some charcoal.
The pluses: There are NONE!
I am sure, if there is a rating commission in Lebanon classifying restaurants from 1 to 10, Set Zmerrod is illegible for a -2.
If you don't believe me, all you have to do is to go try it for yourself it. Enjoy! I personally discovered my 2013 worst experience.