March 21, 2012 Gemmayze & Mar Mikhael Beirut Lebanon Middle East

ENAB, A Typical Lebanese Cuisine In a Modern Setup
Family Get Together Casual Dining Authentic & Traditional

Phone Number: +961 1 444 441

Address: Mar Mikhael Main Street, Achrafieh, beirut, Lebanon


Price Range: 25-35 $


Welcoming: 4/5

Food Temperature: 8/10

Ambiance / Music: 6/10

Menu Choice: 4/5

Food Taste: 19/30

Architecture / Interior: 7/10

Food presentation: 8/10

Service: 5/10

Value for money: 6/10

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Enab, which means grapes, is the newest Lebanese restaurant in Beirut has recently opened its doors on the famous Mar Mikhael strip, just a couple of meters away from one of my favorite restaurants Chez Sophie.
You're welcome to an old Lebanese house, modernized in a way that caters to the needs of the modern and trendy guest. There is a beautiful 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.
For some of us who can't go up the staircase, there is a modern elevator that will take you straight up. Understandable, as not everyone has the energy to walk all the way up... but if you can, do it... your experience will be heightened. As you reach the upper floor, you you will go up a few more stairs then into a place that is full of beautiful details everywhere you turn. A huge place divided into three sections distinctive sections - the outdoor terrace, the main dining area and then a series of different rooms - which is distinguishably decorated differently.The feel of the old Lebanese house is beautifully overpowering as you walk between the rooms. The decoration is very is original and filled with small details which makes you wonder where they came from, what they mean and so on - check the images-. 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. At a glance, it looks a bit like "Leila": The decoration, the concept and some of the menu items.
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.
What i liked about it:
- Arak is mixed in a typical Lebanese glass jar
- The Tabbouleh was delicious
- The Kebbe with Labneh was mouthwatering
- Large wedged french fries, yum!
- Hot dishes are served in traditional clay plates, very special
- Delicious desserts
- We asked for "nogarlicnoonions" items and they came as we asked. I was happy!
- The Nargileh was good and the shisha guys were professionals
- I especially liked the different plate colors - 4 different colors
What I didn't like:
- A lot of the plates came warm and even cold at times, when they should be hot
- The freshly prepared Lebanese bread was under baked and was too fluffy
- Oven items like the "Lahme Baajine" were very generous with a tasty but the bread was too soft, watery and uncooked
- Background music is a mix of Fusion, hits and old tunes: the choice should be old typical tunes only since the latest hits have a high base that is uncomfortable to the ears in the background
What I will definitely change:
- The bread recipe and cooking time
- The welcoming hostess that needs to be more charismatic, have a softer voice and be quicker in choosing the tables
- I will surely remove one table from the main room to give more space for the waiters to move around. It was very annoying to feel someone banging your chair all the time.
- Cooking time of lots of plates like the potato dishes that were not crunchy and undercooked
- I would recommend that they pay attention when cleaning the oven and other utensils with detergents since it leaves trace in the food which can be tasted by sensitive persons
- We felt like the team was not yet ready to cater to a full house like the one we witnessed this sunday. It's like they were trying.
Enab's chef, Mikhael Kleiaani, visited us on the table and we were happy to meet the guy behind the delicious menu.
We were six for lunch that day and enjoyed every part of it. The waiters, the food quality, the food choice are but a few of the things that made this a good experience overall. They maybe need a some fine tuning here and there - I think its necessary since it's a new place... But I would definitely visit it again very soon.
As an overall experience I will rate it as a 6.5/10 that can rapidly improve after fixing the encounters we had that day.
ENAB can be positioned as one of the top 5 Lebanese restaurants that are different and have a special twist to it like Leila and Semsom.






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