October 08, 2014 Achrafieh Beirut Lebanon Middle East

Diplomat: My First Visit Was Better...

Diplomat Diplomat
3.2 out of 5 based on 1 professional review.

RATING:64/100

Welcoming: 4/5

Food Temperature: 8/10

Ambiance / Music: 2/10

Menu Choice: 3/5

Food Taste: 22/30

Architecture / Interior: 7/10

Food presentation: 7/10

Service: 5/10

Value for money: 7/10

Diplomat, the lounge and restaurant in the heart of Achrafieh, left me amazed the first time round with their professional staff and great food. I wanted to come back for more... I wanted to enjoy the ambiance, the service and good food ... But I wish I hadn't... Something was very wrong that night.

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To start with, the negative details mentioned in the previous review were still there and now...

For example the music beat was still annoying. It makes you want to just stand up and leave. Add to that, the kitchen was too slow. The food took forever to come and more so the quality of food and a staff that was taken in by a football match. We were alone, only us, and it felt like the place was packed. Slow service, overcokked meat, slow staff... slow kitchen... Why? I was so upset, especially because I had fallen in love with this place on my first visit.

This review is for you, so you’ll know that I had two different experiences in case yours was not as good as I described it the first time around.

We arrived at 9pm and were welcomed by the manager, the best thing this restaurant has to offer. A professional lady who kept smiling, all the time making sure we were enjoying our evening. As we walked in, the music, the lounge music… one single track kept on playing again and again all night long.

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Dinner started with delicious bacon and fries, perfectly fried and topped with crunchy bits of bacon. The pizza followed. I forgot that the sauce contained garlic so we ordered it as is. Everything contains way too much garlic at Diplomat, covering many of the flavors you await to enjoy. The calamari deactivates all your taste buds due to the amount of garlic they contained, so sadly, I couldn’t try them. Anyway, I still am in love with their kaaka pizza.

The mini burgers followed, well cooked patties in a tender bun. An interesting order, I loved the equilibrated quantity of sauce and the quality of the ingredients.

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When dinner arrived, I was so eager to enjoy the burgers again, but unfortunately the meat was over cooked. An amazing bun, exceptional sauces, but the experience wasn’t the best as the meat was well done. Here’s what I wrote the last time: "The meat is simply perfect, better enjoyed medium or medium rare. Please do not order it well done. Prunelle's famous buns melt under your teeth like butter. The cheddar, a fine cheese, not like the commercial ones out there. Onions, caramelized with love. Not only that, but you can add Foie Gras, grilled to melting point, juicy sausages, full of taste, or American onion rings.”

The burger would be good if the meat was adequately cooked . A thin slice of tomato, iceberg lettuce, a fine bun and perfect sauces, which differ between one order and the other. The fries are even different from one plate to the other. I loved the Foie Gras with its Rossini sauce and the Diplomat with its caramelized onions. The cooking of the meat should be mastered.

Pasta… Now for the serious stuff. I'm not sure if you've heard of the pepper pasta, one of the finest you can have in Lebanon, a recipe that will have you grinning. The vodka pasta was also exceptional. Penne, homemade and mixed with vodka and some cheese. Every bite was full of flavors, from the premium ingredients, the light cream, the rich taste. The pepper pasta, on the other hand, is not for the faint hearted. A cocktail of pepper creating a strong, spicy sauce, a sweetness that plays in the background afterward, secret mixes of different ingredients, and here you are, eating an amazing creation. I've been having this plate every month and will surely be coming back for it.

PS: It is too spicy reaching the border of what’s enjoyable and what's unpleasnt to eat.

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The unacceptable:

  • If you’re insisting on the lounge part, please change the music.
  • Plastic water bottles? Why? Glass does exist.
  • Diplomat doesn’t have the large San Pellegrino bottles. Why is that? Selling small ones generates more profit?
  • Service is way too slow.
  • The kitchen takes too much time to deliver. How would they manage a full house?
  • The overdose of garlic is not too enjoyable, even for the lovers of this ingredient.
  • Polish sausages were out of stock tonight... I came back for those

Diplomat has all it needs to be perfect. A quick fine tune is needed:

  • A superb decoration it is, without those nightclub-style colors.
  • The space is too dark for dinner
  • Football doesn’t match the setting of a restaurant, but more of a café.
  • The food could be excellent if looked into more carefully.
  • The staff should be more attentive.
  • Music is not too hard to fix: A restaurant needs music without a background beat.
  • The pasta is awesome.
  • The burgers are exquisite.
  • The desserts are to die for. 

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My second visit was disappointing but I’m sure this does not reflect the owner’s professionalism and vision. I will be coming back for a third visit… if the place manages to stand out and fix its problems.

 




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