March 25, 2013 Dbayeh Mount Lebanon Lebanon Middle East

MBCo. The Trendy Brasserie now in Lebanon (Restaurant Closed)

Phone Number: +961 76 406 400

Address: Blueberry Square, Dbayeh Highway, Metn, Lebanon

Website: http://www.mbco.ca/

Price Range: 5-20 $

MBCo Dbayeh MBCo Dbayeh
3.25 out of 5 based on 1 professional review.

RATING:65/100

Welcoming: 4/5

Food Temperature: 8/10

Ambiance / Music: 5.5/10

Menu Choice: 4/5

Food Taste: 23/30

Architecture / Interior: 8/10

Food presentation: 8/10

Service: 7/10

Value for money: Soon

After Let's Burger, MBCo was next on my list of places to try at Blueberry Square.  I was intrigued to discover this Canadian bakery everyone has been talking about. MBCo is a ‘Quick Casual Dining’ concept, centered around hand-carved sandwiches, gourmet salads, delectable desserts and those hard to find lifestyle products not available in traditional eateries, all now available in Dbayeh, straight from Montreal.
 
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Let me clarify a point here before going into my review. Good restaurants and pastry shops can be classified into three distinctive categories in my opinion:
  • The average ones or to say the popular (commercial) ones
  • The casual middle category which serve tasty products, yet there's room for improvement
  • The top category, part of my Top 10 list and where pastry and food is truly a of a piece of art
Before tasting MBCo's lunch, I had the chance to try their pastry creations, which I can safely categorize in the middle category and judge my experience accordingly. Their creations are the best I have had in a casual pastry shop, but not up to a certain standard which enables them to compete with the best around like Canelle, Pate A Choux, Gustav, Noura and La Mie Doree.
 
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Breakfast, lunch, afternoon and evening delights are available for enjoyment on site, or can be picked to go. Delicacies include oven roasted chicken and brie pita, herbed oven baked egg white omelets, boutique style muffins, fair trade coffee and pizzas topped with exotic ingredients. In this urban yet intimate setting, customers can enjoy a Latte, a fanciful muffin or a healthy oven roasted pita sandwich and salad to complete a truly epicurean meal!
 
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Having a friendly chat with the manager, I tried to satisfy my curiosity: MBCo. is not your usual brasserie. It's a modernized version of some of the brasseries you may have experienced in France. This fine restaurant opens at 9am where brunch is served followed by a tasty lunch and a premium dinner. All ingredients are imported from the four corners of the world for their clients satisfaction:
  • Real oats from Europe
  • Berries (Blackberries, cranberries, raspberries)
  • Swiss chocolate
  • Seasoning products from France signature of "Les Mille et une Huiles"
  • Natural colored salts, beer mustard, buttered truffles and more from France
  • Bread ingredients from Montreal
  • Tapas from Holland
  • Tea from Damman Freres
  • Dehydrated strawberries covered with white or dark chocolate

MBCo, known for their bread and pastry products, have studied the market very carefully before jumping into the harsh Lebanese competition. It is a Canadian franchise after all, but adapted to the Lebanese culture.

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In the middle of the restaurant, is an Onyx tasting table with a variety of 12 different oil bottles and 4 Tapas jars. Dip some bread chunks in any of the products and enjoy.  At the bar is the display fridge filled with Viennoiseries and Desserts:

  • Muffins 3,750L.L
  • Choco-Almond croissant 4,750L.L
  • Chocolat croissant 4,750L.L
  • Mini Chocolate Torsade 4,500L.L
  • Almond croissant 4,750L.L
  • Cheese croissant 4,750L.L
  • Zaatar croissant 4,250L.L
  • Plain croissant 3,750L.L
  • Creme Brûlée 6,000L.L
  • Chocolat Soufflé 8,750L.L
  • Tiramisu 6,750L.L
  • Banana tart 6,000L.L
  • Cheese cake 6,750L.L
  • Mille Feuille 6,000L.L
  • Chocolat Mille Feuille 6,000L.L
  • Charlotte aux Framboises 5,000L.L
  • Lemon tart 6,000L.L
  • Chocolat tart 6,000L.L
  • Exotic tart 6,000L.L
  • Strawberry pistachio tart 6,000L.L

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The place:

  • The color combination of white and black is used in abundance
  • Real wood flooring cover the place
  • Wood and marble tables with their stainless supports fill the space
  • Choose between the black leather benches, white modern leather sofas or the transparent Phillip Stark chairs
  • Three LCD screens decorate the long wall facing the pastry display fridge
  • An onyx table, centred in the middle is the MBCo is their worldwide signature
  • I liked the couple of wine barrels around the terrace, decorated in white to follow the places ambiance

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The menu sections:

  • Breakfast (continental, eggs, breakfast valuable additions, top up your breakfast)
  • Appetisers
  • Salads
  • Sandwich bread art
  • Pizza
  • Main course
  • MBCo signatures
  • Our signature baked goods
  • Ice cream
  • Coffee & tea
  • Smoothies
  • Beverages and alcohol

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We ordered for dessert:

  • Cinnamon Cheese Cake: A good piece of pastry. It's acceptable but not great.
  • Creme Brûlée: The plate's presentation is mouthwatering and the topped sugar looks like a crystal clear piece of art. I loved that it's presented warm, especially since you don't feel or smell the eggs. Topped with raspberry, blueberry and blackberries that are specially imported, this Creme Brûlée is a preparation many of you will adore.It has a hidden custard taste that I didn't like much.
  • Mille Feuille a la Creme Légere is not that légere at all. The pastry creme is a bit too sweet and the pate feuilletée is a bit over cooked leaving a burned back taste.
  • Chocolat Croissant: It's more of a chocolate pain au lait than a crunchy croissant. I love the dark chocolate filling but not the chewy bread. More chocolate must be added.
Premium pastry creations that can compete with the majority of pastry shops around but not our local finest

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The things I liked:

  • Mille et une huilles products are very interesting
  • Do not miss the chocolate balls filled with dried strawberries. They are to die for...
  • Their menu choice is diverse
  • A beautiful architecture worth admiring
  • They focus a great deal on a premium service

The minuses:

  • Your music is a perfect recipe for a migraine. Buddha bar lounge music that beats every fraction of your head. I felt like leaving before even sitting down
  • Name tags in the display fridge looks very unprofessional. Choose a language, English or French. Choose a pen, blue or black. Check for spelling mistakes next time you write them. Preferably they should be printed and not handwritten
  • A certain identity is missing. Too trendy and too sophisticated. Is it a pastry shop or a restaurant? A delicatessen shop or a breakfast lounge? It's a bizarre kind of concept. I really felt lost between four walls
  • The Canadian MBCo website is pathetic. They market their franchise a great deal. It looks like they are desperate for money. Present the brand to clients not for franchise seekers.

MBCo is a premium brasserie serving delicious pieces of pastries, without tapping too much on the grounds of the top pastry shops in Lebanon. I enjoyed my visit, especially the delicatessen products they sell but I left asking myself: "Why this advertisement? What is this "super special something" that will make me come again? I left unimpressed..."

PS: Dining review coming soon




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