CHECK OTHER REVIEWS FOR THIS PLACE:
Al-Halabi, Antelias: Mistakes Happen for a Reason
Al Halabi: A Revamped Look... Same Old Taste
Al Halabi: As Good as Always
Al Halabi Lebanese Restaurant, Antelias
Al Halabi: The Real Flavors of Lebanese Mezze
Al Halabi: New Decor, New Staff and The Same Great Taste!
It starts when you leave your car with the valet, which Al Halabi has had for the last decade, it continues when you're welcomed by Maitre Michel who has been here for the last 35 years, it ends when you are served by waiters who have served my father and grandfather before him... It's pure pleasure when you eat food, real food, great Lebanese food that few master.
I'm not sure that I feel like writing another review tonight, but instead would ask you to read my positive previous encounters while I let myself go with the flow and enjoy some really good specialties.
Tonight's experience, like any other night, was memorable. We ordered two plates of some of the best hummos in the country, I enjoyed the hummos with meat, its tenderness and richness, adored the stuffed grapevine leaves with their lemony after note, was amazed by the "Kama" - known as the truffles of the Middle East - mixed with diced meat and pine nuts and savored many of our all time favorite Lebanese dishes.
Tonight, I wanted to enjoy a nice meal, I couldn't simply taste, I let myself go, one loaf of markouk bread after the other, dipping into the plates, goat Labneh, hummos, mouhammara and mashed potatoes.
On the side, I would recommend you order two things. Grilled makanek with a bowl of pomegranate on the side, as well as grilled cheese fingers. Believe me, they are exquisite and surely healthier than their fried cousins.
Hummos! The hummos deserves a line of its own. Some say it's the finest in Lebanon and I agree with that. Smooth, light, no excess of tahini and some fine, enjoyable flavors caress your taste buds as it touches your tongue. The hummus lived up to its reputation: A fluffy nuttiness that somehow balances a creamy texture and rich buttery flavor. Served warm with cooked chickpeas on top and some premium olive oil, this is a plate that will make you scream for joy.
After that we ordered a very interesting plate. Kabab khechkhach, which we ordered without garlic. A tender meat bathed in tomato juice alongside skewers of super tender meat.
Everything was really amazing, and enjoyed with Al Halabi's special arak.
After dinner, dessert was offered. Katayef, Mouhallabiya, exotic fruits, local seasonal fruits, Kashta and honey.
What else would you expect from a Lebanese restaurant, a high-end Lebanese restaurant serving the same quality for the last half century? I find myself reconfirming Al Halabi's excellence.