Al Falamanki Brunch

Food

Sodeco, Beirut, Lebanon. On a Saturday Noon, you can not miss the crowd around Al Falamanki Restaurant.

We have decided to celebrate my birthday by going out to a Lebanese brunch. And Al Falamanki was the destination. After parking the car, and entering the warmed up terrace, the delicious smell hits you and right away, you realize that it was a good choice.

The moment you step into the indoor space, the retro mood invades you. The walls are filled with Tarabeesh, Oud, Tawlet Zaher and all kind of authentic Lebanese gadgets.
But also a lot of small black and white with wooden frames are scattered here and there. A Closer examination led me to some pictures of Alfred Hitchcock, Grace Kelly, and other American stars.
At first, I thought they were out of the concept. BUT!! WHAT DOES AL FALAMANKI MEAN??

Well, Al Falamanki is not a nickname. It is a name. Khalil Al Falamanki was a boxer who later on became a bodyguard, has traveled to the U.S and met many stars like Alfred Hitchcock and Grace Kelly 😉

 

Now, to the food. The open buffet includes a variety of Lebanese delicacies. Of course, no Lebanese brunch without Labneh, Shankleesh, White cheese, some vegetables, and olives.

Then, come in the warm dishes: Hummus Balila, Foul Mdammas, Fatteh. The more you walk in, the warmer the food: Saj bites always warm and ready to be served, as well as eggs on the barbecue – or as we say the “Manaal”.  Prepared to order, you can choose between sunny side up; eggs with kawarma, or even a nice shakshuka[eggs with diced onions and fine tomatoes].

 

 

The service was amazing, the staff is great. We were served by Ahmad who helped us on the buffet as well as on the table. In the plate, you 20170128_125225can see a small variety from the buffet. Everything has been mentioned above except the Pink and Orange dollops. Beetroot and Carrot Hummus were the Lebanese twist within this authentic Lebanese assortment. Not too
overpowering, the flavor was good. To be fair, you could clearly taste the beetroot but the carrot was a bit difficult to taste. Maybe all this was for the color? All the dishes tasted great, with the feeling of homemade preparation. I have to admit that the beans [Foul] had a weird aftertaste, but the Fatteh took me to another world. That warm yogurt lying over fried bread and boiled chickpeas just tantalized my taste buds until I got to the table.

 

 

Last but not least, how can you end such a feast without dessert?!  Halawa, butter, jams, and marmalade were present. what I chose to show you is the amazing fruit assortment of orange, pomegranate, apple and juices including lemonade and Jallab.

 

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Mr. Falamnki, nice meeting you on this special occasion. I can not wait to try the experience again but maybe next time for a regular meal, just for a change.

Al Mokhtar restaurant – مطعم المختار

Food

In the heart of south Lebanon, lies a famously known restaurant called Al Mokhtar.

Al Mokhtar is literally translated to “The chosen one” in the Lebanese system, he is a person that the villagers choose to keep track of the population -somehow, a mayor -. This wise man traditionally with the famous Tarboosh and pomegranate stick, is the typical Lebanese figure to whom one should look up to and resemble.

Even if that description is about a man, Al Mokhtar Restaurant fits these words. I had the pleasure to meet Ramy, A Mokhtar’s manager, and the owner’s son. A young man, with a fresh spirit, down to earth and of course a foodie. He made sure to let me know that all the ingredients used in the making of Al Mokhtar menu are fresh and homegrown on the farm near the restaurant.

The tour starts with the many spaces available for one to choose the mood he wishes his meal to be served in. Every corner is filled with a small antique detail along with the green scenery which is a must in every Lebanese garden.

lebanese-mezza

Every Lebanese feast has to debut with the traditional Mezza. From goat cheese to stuffed eggplants -no need to remind you that all the above are homemade in the Mokhtar garden- all the Lebanese small and endless plates are somehow your “amuse gueule” before the main dish makes it to the feast.

cherry-kaftaNow, to the specialité – Cherry Kafta- An amazing terracotta pan arrives at the table. Before you can see what’s inside, a sweet smell hits you. And then, a sizzling red glaze embracing some Kafta meat will make you want to dig in and experience that sweet and savory combination.

lebanese-sweetscoffee

Of course, no Lebanese feast ends without pleasing your sweet tooth. Al Mokhtar offers various jams and marmalades. From Bitter orange to dates and even Jujuba these homemade treats may surprise you with a few almonds or walnuts. YUM!

Last but not least, the Turkish coffee will be waiting for your palette to be cleansed. The cardamom aftertaste makes all the difference and kick starts the digestion process – much needed-.

 

From farm to plate, Al Mokhtar restaurant makes sure all ingredients are handpicked and fresh. All plates are cooked with love and by the traditional recipes which makes it the ultimate southern experience.