Sweet Tea is Yannick Alleno’s concept of a refined inviting space. Imagine stepping into a place deliciously colored to the extent that awakens a multitude of sugary cravings, and yet feels so light and aerial.
Now, imagine a tea room that looks timeless, comfortably simple, with just the right amount of sophistication. Visualize an absolute osmosis of unending contrasts. Straight unpretentious lines drawn to the infinite, combined with artistic rounder shapes. Everything, in this pastry sanctuary, is carefully thought, from the impressive counter, cakes displayed as jewels, to delicately carved white plates that make your mouthwatering treat even more appealing. Even the roof welcomes visitors in a very convivial setting, under a specially designed retractable tent and surrounded by a unique green vegetal wall.
The transparency of volumes makes it peaceful enough that you would gladly stop and indulge in a moment of savory pleasure. And the touches of vibrant colors, added here and there, warm the immaculate atmosphere appropriately for either sunny or rainy days. The day I went was sunny and very hot. I chose to sit outdoors under a large sun umbrella enjoying the whole view of Beirut Souks from above. Those umbrellas are not enough to stop the summer's heat, so I would recommend that you sit inside for lunch during this hot season.
Before jumping into the good food, a basket of fresh warm bread baked in-house is offered and served with our local Zajd oil. I enjoyed it a lot while surfing through their colorful menu divided into four big section, Sweet, Salty, Drinks and Spirits - each with a huge choice of possibilities from Viennoiseries, Les Patisseries de Notre Enfance, Sweet'Sandwiches, Macarons, Tartes en Bande, Gateaux Precieux, Coupes Glacess, Glaces et Sorbets, Accompagnements, Entrees, Salades, Plats, Oeufs, Garnitures and Selection de thes Dammann, to name a few.
The choices I tried are exquisite and awesomely delicious:
- Foie Gras de Canard Maison et Ses toasts (Very tasty and fresh served with four pieces of brown toasted bread and a green salad, but unfortunately I would have preferred that they add some sweet assortment. Foie Gras is usually served with a sweet jelly or a fig jam. This one, although tasty, was a bit just dry) - Saumon Fume Creme a L'aneth (Offered on a square plate in very thin layers and served with four pieces of toasted white triangular bread and sour cream. The presentation as well as the taste are great) - Classic Caesar Salade au Poulet (The chicken is not dry as we're used to having it around town with a fresh smell and a crunchy finish) - Cheeseburger Façon Sweet Tea, Frites Maison (Welcome to the latest entry into my Top 10 burgers that you can have in Lebanon): This is a burger you would really really have to try. A soft bun hosting an artistic composition of colors from tomato to bacon, melted cheese, lettuce, ketchup, pickles and a juicy perfectly cooked meat. It is the fine dining version of the burger makes you say Yumm, after every bite. - Eclair au Chocolat (The desserts are not just visually impressive but are they are tasty as well)
- Sweet Tea can be more welcoming if the place as well as their waiters where a bit less frigid. All it needs is that everyone cools down and be more welcoming and people would definitely come more.