"When the owner decides not to show up anymore... When opening another branch is not always a good idea"
I have known Sushi Mooda
for more than seven years, and I used to go there with my girlfriend back then who is today my beloved wife. Sushi Mooda was the only Japanese restaurant around the Metn area (Lebanon), on the main highway of Antelias to Bickfaya.
We were served by the owner herself who used to sit with us and make sure everything is just handled perfectly. All the region approved that Sushi Mooda was one of the best sushi restaurants in Lebanon providing its customers with a unique taste and a perfect quality with an incomparable service.
When Mrs. Sushi Mooda decided to open a new branch in Achrafieh, she had to move down to Beirut, because the new branch located inside the capital was more profitable and needed more time. Here, the drop was obvious. I didn't want to believe that and we continued on visiting Sushi Mooda until last week when we tried the new location next to Yammine Bakery on the same highway just a couple of meters below.
That day, we wanted to try the new place because we heard many comments about it, positive and negative at the same time.
Unfortunately the experience was disappointing on many levels:
- No music in the restaurant so the ambiance felt dull and very austere. For a minute, they decided to turn it on, but we were enchanted by an unpleasant rock music.
- A simple paper menu like any Lebanese fast food place. Sushi is a luxury food and should be handled accordingly, presented accordingly with nice pictures in a leather or wood menu.
- Salmon salad needs to be colder, or served on ice in a bowl like all other restaurants in town with I can name couple like Ichiban and Sushi bar. The Salmon salad at Sushi Mooda comes on a bed of cabbage.
- The service is extremely slow since there is only one waiter handling a big new restaurant.
- They do not have decaffeinated coffee
- No alternative for sushi in the menu, so you are obliged to eat sushi and only sushi. If a person accompanying you doesn't like sushi, will stay hungry.
- Black Teriyaki sauce on some items like salmon skin was bitter and inedible.
- They didn't have white fish.
- The service is unprofessional, if there was any. The table was dirty and stayed dirty during the whole lunch and our plates were not removed once before dessert: that was shocking and unacceptable at all. Why? Because the so-called waitress who is from the Philippines doesn't have a clue about service. She was in the kitchen half the time preparing the orders and knows nothing about the rules of a waiter. We called her twice and she answered from behind the bar without moving to the table. Unacceptable service and manners.
- And the best part of the lunch was that they didn't have a credit card machine and since we were not carrying cash, we had to go to the nearest bank to withdraw money.
But to be fair, for the price you pay, the Sushi was very good. Cheaper than other normal Sushi restaurants in town (in normal I mean the average and not considering the high-end places like Sushi Bar and Osaka to name a couple).
I must admit that the desserts were good as well. Do not miss their special ice-cream, Coconut, Pineapple and citrus served in their respective cover. A bit expensive but the taste is worth it.
The decoration is fresh and relaxing; wooden tables, wooden walls with a cozy lighting and a wide glass window to enjoy the view of the facing mountain.
I would recommend you to try it, especially if you don't care about the details I stated above. It's good if you're going with friends to have fun and enjoy good sushi at low cost.