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Breakfast at Phoenicia Grand Hotel Bucharest
Phoenicia Grand Hotel Bucharest
One of the three restaurants available at the Phoenicia hotel is Saidoun, the Lebanese. A Lebanese restaurant decorated with an old Arabian style. Green led lights, Ottoman and gulf paintings decorate the walls and tables set with a plate, cutlery and glasses on beige tablecloth. Tonight we eat Lebanese.
Green curtains cover the windows, a TV screen showing MTV music television tunes, old style chairs, authentic wooden tables and a floor made of wood. Arabic music plays in the background.
The menu is interesting. Looking like a book, the menu starts with introducing Saidoun, Sidon, capital of the south and Lebanese cuisine. Starters follow, about lentils, soups, cold starters, hot starters, introducing shawarma, raw meat specialties, specialties from south lebanon, grill, chef's specialities, garnishes, desserts and Kilimanjaro the chef's signature dessert.
Dinner started with a vegetable platter made of lemons, a cucumber, red pepper, tomatoes and bell pepper.
Food: Below average!
- Freshly made but chewy bread.
- Thick grapevine leaves removed from the fridge two minutes ago, stuffed with hard thick rice, lacking juiciness and lemon.
- A fresh tabbouleh, a fresh fattoush, a good Labneh for one made in Romania and hummus loaded with garlic. The hummus looks appetizing with the roasted pine nuts and grilled meat but the garlic! It covers on all other flavors as much as it is empowering. Everybody stopped using garlic in Hummus.
- Meat is well marinated but unfortunately extremely chewy.
- Cheese sambousik: a crunchy envelop with a chewy heart stuffed with juicy chunks of cheese.
- Moudardara: nothing to write home about. That's not the moudardara I expected to eat. Uncle Bens with lentils.
- Shawarma: oh my God! That's watery spiced meat, more of a failure of a stroganoff. It's bad.
- Dessert is better than the food itself. Kilimanjaro, the chef's signature is a large plate filled with kashta and decorated with thinly sliced melon topped with vanilla ice cream, nuts and honey. A locally produced kashta, commercial ice cream and flavorful melons. Honey adds the touch of sweetness and the bits his interesting crunch.
It's surely not where I'll eat Lebanese food in Bucharest.