In the heart of Mar Mikhael is an old Lebanese house, modernized in a way that caters to the needs of the latest trends around. Take the old stairway that leads you up to the restaurant’s entrance, with walls decorated with dried vegetables. A nice authentic touch that reminds me of an old Lebanese village somehow. The last time I was there, Enab had a few points I was not happy about, the second time around, I was impressed with the changes and soothing ambiance the place has evolved to become.
For some of us who can’t go up the staircase, there is a modern elevator that will take you straight up. As you reach the upper floor, a large place that is full of beautiful details everywhere you turn welcomes you making you forget the city's action. A huge restaurant divided into three distinctive sections – the outdoor terrace, the main dining area and then a series of different rooms – which are distinguishably decorated differently. The feel of the old Lebanese house is beautifully overpowering as you walk between the rooms. The decoration is original and filled with small details which makes you wonder where they came from, what they mean and so on.
Then comes the details of Enab concept. The plates, the logo, the napkins, the table set up…the bar, decorated with jar bottles, the private terrace suitable for kids to play around and an open glass facade making the place brightly lit.
Enab is a typical Lebanese cuisine with a special twist. The menu, printed on recyclable paper, is divided into different sections: Hot mezze, cold mezze, salads, Lebanese grill, in the oven, Lebanese tartar, Lebanese sweets, juices, beer and Arak
. We tried a bit of all, items without garlic and onions to discover the real quality of the menu.
Today we were served by Ali, the waiter they call The Captain. Ali is impressive! Super professional and attentive.
The menu is breathtaking. An awesome idea of using an old magazine with the same ads and paper quality and making it into a menu. The size, quality, sections and concept are just great. A perfect first impression.
- Hummos (Mashed chickpeas with tahina and olive oil) 5,250L.L
- Spicy Hummos (Mashed chickpeas with a spicy aste) 6,500L.L
- Hummos meat and pinenuts 11,000L.L
- Labneh Maaez (Goat labneh with olive oil) 8,000L.L
- Grilled Halloumi 8,500L.L
- Cheese Rolls, 6 pieces 8,000L.L
- Soujok Cheese Rolls 9,000l.L
- Basterma Cheese Rolls 9,000L.L
- Lebanese Sausages, Makanek 12,500L.L
- Kebbeh in Spices, Sajieh 7,500L.L
- Kafta Arayess (grilled meat in Lebanese bread, served with yogurt) 14,000L.L
- Moudardara (Lentil, fried onions, rice, olive oil) 6,000L.L
- Salad Baladiyeh (Mix of tomatoes, purslane, apple, vinegar, olive oil, eggplant, onions) 7,500L.L
- Fattouch 6,600L.L
- Tabbouleh 6,600L.L
- Loubiye bel Zeit (Green beans cooked with tomato sauce and garlic) 6,000L.L
- Lahme ras Asfour 12,000L.L
The Food Experience:
I really am in love with Enab, for its ambiance, its beautiful decoration, its little tiny details nobody thought of before, the superb decoration, the friendly and welcoming staff and the professional manager to name a few of the reasons. But, Enab lacks perfection in its food. Every dish missed something, which makes the taste good yet not memorable... I had to grab my ipad to write something about the food after every bite.
- The hummus is too salty and a bit too lemony but the meat on top is soft and tender
- The salad's mint and purslane leaves are not removed from their stem. Unpleasant to chew
- Moudardra is over cooked. The rice, which is too small, and lentils should be a bit aldente
- The spicy hummus lacks a note of flavor. It's too dull
- Kafta Arayess was better last time I've tried it
- Loubiye ha those unpleasant onion rings decorating the plate
- The Ras Asfour meat is too dry and the plate is too stingy. It looks empty
- Enab's bread is too spongy, too fluffy and needs more cooking. Every bite fills your mouth masking all the other ingredients
- French fries are too condensed and undercooked
- Desserts have nothing special in them
I liked some plates:
- Spicy kebbe is super tasty
- Halloum slices are not salty, thick, generous, adequately crunchy and delicious
- I like the way they present the fried bread, rolled in a funky way, next to the fattouch bowl
- All the cheese rolls are perfectly done, non oily, generous and tasty
You cannot but enjoy every single detail this place has to offer. From the unique sofas to the high ceiling, the chandeliers, the tables and a unique ambiance which makes you want to come back again and again. An old Lebanese house in the middle of the city, kept the same, with no sophistication - a nice touch to remembering the old days.
The big changes since my last visit:
- Less tables. The place feels more relaxed
- Better music that fits with the place's concept
- An improved menu. An award winning creation
- A great value for money
- A superb ambiance
- Acceptable food
- Amazing service
The minuses: No smoking inside is a law to be respected! What the heck are you thinking. You have a large terrace people can smoke on, why is shisha and cigarettes allowed inside? I really was shocked by such an unprofessional and disrespectful decision considering that I know the owners and this does not reflect their way of thinking. Please reconsider! Respecting the law shows a respect of people.
Enab doesn't need much to compete with the best Lebanese restaurants in town. Just focus on the finesse of the food. Some spells here and there will make Enab a reference and part of the Top10 list of Lebanese restaurants where, for now, the old ones compete together.