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Lebanese food recommendations

I know there are some fans of Lebanese food on the Community so I wonder if I could ask a favour? There is a local new (to us anyway) resto that delivers and I am thinking it might be a nice treat for our anniversary later this month. But we know nothing about Lebanese cuisine other than hummus (and for that we have Inbar’s recipe).

Here’s the link to the menu pages

As a newbie to this cuisine are there any suggestions for must try dishes? And would our sole bottle of Lebanese wine, a Musar 2003, be a good match?

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order a selection of mezze, whatever you fancy! it’s not that different to turkish or greek food.

open the musar in the morning and decant :slight_smile:

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That’s a lovely idea for an anniversary meal, @JayKay! :clap:

I am not sure what your likes/dislikes are, but looking at their menu, my choices would be the same as always… Moutabal, Warak and Fatoush on the side to start with, and for ‘main’ I’m dribbling just thinking of the Kibbeh, Batata Harra and Soujok… :yum:

Hopefully it comes with nice pittas, too…? You got to soak up all those juices… :ok_hand:

Love the name of the place too (which means ‘my home’).

EDIT: I would also say - although I’m touched that you like my (mum’s) humous recipe, I would definitely give a go to their version of Humous Beiruty. I suspect it won’t disappoint! :smiley:

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Our daughter’s mother-in-law was born in the Lebanon but all I’ve learnt is that their meals seem to involve many dishes, most with names I can’t pronounce properly but all delicious. Their meals are truly wonderful occasions. I think there are a few Lebanese cook books available in the UK now which may give some good background information if your library is open or if you can spot one in a local bookshop.

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I think that Musar is generally reckoned not to be a good match for Lebanese cuisine. I seem to remember it came up during the Zoom chat between Pierre and Monsieur Hochar.

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Thanks for that tip @Brocklehurstj! Wouldn’t want to blow our only bottle on food that it wouldn’t suit.

Thanks everyone. Some good advice here. Will report back later on in the month if we go for this.

When I used to eat Lebanese out regularly (when was London based) we used to usually order a rose, such as the one by Ch, Ksara. Usually ate a mezze and found that it worked with a range of dishes. Musar would probably work with a big chunk of protein rather than mezze - its a Sunday lunch wine imo.

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Musar’s good with anything in my book :rofl:

Open long before you drink. Or you’ll probably remain a Musar sceptic. I like to open a day (or better two) before i plan to drink most of it. Of course you are allowed a glass for scientific reasons.

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Tabbouleh. Emphatically.

Not sure if its Lebanese… but the real thing is brilliant - as in mostly parsley (unlike the French version which is mostly Bulgar or Couscous). Best I’ve had was (strangely) in Durham! and likewise I’m in the rose camp here.

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I’m also a fan of moutabal, warak, makanek, and sabanekh, but what I’d love most would be a lamb shawarma… hmmm. I was addicted to those as a teenager when my parents lived in the middle east, and Edgware Road used to be one of my favourite food destinations when I still lived in NW London… my mouth is watering just thinking about it… Beirut Express!
Hope you have a lovely anniversary.

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You and me both! :drooling_face:

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Now look what you’ve all done: I’m really peckish so I’ve had to stop work, open a beer (Nanny State as it’s Tuesday), put on music and cook something.

It’ll be a big bowl of mejadra, maybe with a big dollop of yoghurt. Yum.

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Love Lebanese.

Kibbeh, as Inbar says. Just yum, and one of those dishes where, with the work and skill they take, it’s better to buy someone else’s good ones!

And I would also judge a place on its foul moudammas. Shouldn’t be hard to get right, but a traditional dish and all the more reason that they should do it well if they’re going to list it.

Edit: and Baklawa for pudding, obvs!

Enjoy!

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Ooh - baklawa, the king of sweets. I like a few pieces with a stupidly powerful coffee on a Sunday afternoon, with a good book.

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Pre-lockdown we used to eat in a Syrian/Lebanese place every week or two, and I have my favourite dishes. But my suggestion would be just to go for the set menu on your first visit to make ordering easy. It looks like a pretty good selection. Just be careful to remember what each dish is as it arrives. Write the names down if necessary. Then next time, keep your favourites, and swap out some of the dishes you were not so keen on with something new.

You may be asked if you want everything (at least all the non-sweet dishes) on the table at the same time. That is how the locals eat. We normally prefer to get the food in two traunches, leaving the meaty stuff and rice to the 2nd traunch (main course, if you like). That way you do not get food going cold.

As @suiko says, Musar is good with many things. But the Musar people would say it works better with classic European food than Middle-Eastern, and I think I tend to agree. The locals would drink arrak. But don’t let that put you off - take whatever you like and see how it goes. Personally I would normally prefer to drink aromatic white wine, from Alsace for example, or light reds that preferably have some spicy notes - nothing too fancy.

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As above, don’t have Lebanese food with Musar. Think it was Pierre Mansour who also recently made this point. The white, though, isn’t a bad match in my view… but why you wouldn’t have something cheaper with spiced food I don’t know. Arrak best.

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I’ve found Mas de Daumas Gassac with some age to be a good accompaniment to I suppose what could euphemistically be referred to as generic Eastern and Southern Mediterranean foods. And my new found favourite Pelaverga is lined up for our next mish-mash Mezze. I have high hopes and expectations :grinning:

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Never had arak. Having looked it up it seems to be an anis flavoured spirit. Would ouzo make a suitable alternative? Not that I like it very much, or any other aniseed flavoured drinks. I am thinking either to follow the suggestions for rose or maybe have both a white and a spicy red on the go.

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To be honest I would not fret too much about the choice of drink. As you will have a number of dishes on the table at the same time, whatever you have to drink it will work better with some dishes than others.

I think if I were going to a Lebanese restaurant, and wanted to make it a special treat, I would probably want to have fun trying a number of different wines. If it is free or cheap BYO, I would take 2 or 3. You don’t have to drink it all :wink:

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