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Tawlet Ammik: A Unique Experience from Start to End
We tend to take some things in life for granted. We always wish to get away, travel far somewhere in nature, to escape and enjoy some peace and quiet. Although it may sound like a cliche, we can escape reality just an hour away from Beirut! I got into the car and drove up to Bekaa Valley. It took me an hour to reach a vast and eye soothing sight. I head to Ammiq Village, where Kamal Mouzawak recently opened an eco-friendly restaurant in the middle of nowhere serving local organic food.
Amazing and breathtaking, Tawlet Ammiq stems out of a hill in Ammiq Village overlooking the patchwork of Lebanon's popular valley that's also known for its water swamps and electricity mills. Tawlet Ammiq is an Eco restaurant that is designed ecologically and beautifully, with the warm home feel. The grey concrete architecture house blends beautifully with the whole entourage, a roof covered in grass and solar chimneys, Canadian wells, and an infrastructure aimed at minimizing the use of electricity as well as saving water and recycling most of the waste. You go down the stairs and enter a space where little local trinkets are sold. All organic, healthy and interesting as they vary from food to books and more.
You then enter the restaurant indoor space. Very spacious, natural recycled wood table and chairs with comfortable white cushions. If you're a party of over 20 people, try booking their long recycled table that seats around 24 people. It's private, beautifully designed and creates a flow of easy conversation. If you want to enjoy nature, the outside terrace space all covered with green grass with stone borders is the place to be. The space is covered with natural recycled wood tables and chairs, smaller recyclable chairs you can lie on to enjoy the vast and limitless view. Breathtaking! Here's a peaceful place that is just an hour's drive from Beirut, a place that's calm and serene, with fresh air accompanying your every move.
The eye catching details
- Decorative hand decorated birds pending from the ceiling
- Hand decorated glass jars used as shades for light
- Long wooden bench on the side with its white square pillows
- A large variety of Lebanese wines proposed at the entrance
- The shop with produces from the village
- An open bar taking to the kitchen
- Large glass facades making sunlight accessible from all sides and reducing electricity costs
- Four metallic chimneys mark on the building's roof
- Glass boxes on the roof make sure sunlight enters properly
Tawlet Ammiq is a place in the middle of nature. It's a place you think may only be seen on National Geographic...
Expect to meet new local friends whom I call: Mrs. Frog, Miss Butterfly, Little Chicken and Queen Bee - all humbly welcome you home to nature's true beauty.
We chose a table on the grass terrace and ordered a bit of everything from their Organic menu:
- Ajbenn w albenn
- Bel fokhara
- Plat du jour
On week ends you can experience the famous Tawlet open buffet made famous in Mar Mikhael which I have already reviewed many times. The food is the simplest yet the tastiest you can try, all prepared the authentic village way:
- Kessit Laban served in with cucumbers the way my grandma used to prepare with Kebbe bel saniye
- Sahein labneh w Zaatar. A mix of fresh green Zaatar leaves mixed in local labneh baladieh
- Sahein halloum, simply grilled pieces of Halloum
- Sahein Jebneh naboulsyeh. Cubes of hard halloumi cheese mixed with habbet el barakeh
- Bayd w summac bel fekhara served really hot in a metallic pan like the Mexican fajitas
- Ijet batata of thin sliced potatoes mixed together with local eggs in a metallic pan, it's served sizzling hot and the sizzle continues a few minutes after it's been served
- Shanklish offered in cut cubes mixed with tomatoes, onions and green and red bell peppers
- Samke Meshweye is one of the tastiest. A simple small grilled piece of river fish which you'll enjoy eating. I can still taste the grilled taste of the cooked fish scale
To drink, don't expect anything less than fresh and local. We ordered a lemonade 'Briq' as well as a glass of tasty araq. Water is also served in a traditional Lebanese 'briq. An amazing touch of Lebanese tradition. The service is fast, friendly and warm.
Just reach Tawlet Ameeq and believe me you won't want to go back to the capital's hustle and bustle.