10 January 2022
An authentic Lebanese restaurant, with Burj Khalifa views and a story to
Looking for a new Lebanese restaurant to try? Craving the flavours of home? Café Beirut in the Al Murooj Complex Downtown is your answer – and Time Out has been in for an exclusive first look.
Everything about this new restaurant, also known as Kahwet Beirut and opening today (Monday January 10), sings stories from the streets of Beirut.
Black and white portraits, a traditional ceramic water fountain and an olive tree in the huge indoor dining room evoke memories of a city teeming with life and culture.
Music brings the design to life, the sounds of Fairouz, Sabah, Wadih Al Safi and others known to many as the life blood of Beirut.
Café Beirut is yet another new launch from the restaurant and nightlife masterminds at 7 Management, the whizz kids behind Le Rose, Antika, BO18, February 30, The Theater and Seven Sisters.
But this one has something a little different: it’s a passion project, a labour of love fueled by a desire to bring the true spirit of Beirut to Dubai.
As Rabih Fakhkreddine, Founder and CEO of 7 Management, told us: “At Café Beirut we are remembering the city of our forefathers as it was in its heyday when it was known as the Switzerland of the Middle East. It is still our home, in our eyes it is still beautiful, still glorious and still pulls us so gently, but unerringly, back by our heartstrings.
“I want somewhere where my daughter can feel that it is her home away from home. Future generations will feel that same pride and nostalgia for their homeland that their fathers and grandfathers felt. We feel this even now and hope that you will experience even a small part of our love and pride at Café Beirut,” said Fakhkreddine.
We’ve only had a sneak peek, but it seems he’s well on the way to achieving this.
The spread of classic Lebanese dishes, prepared authentically, is a tribute to Beirut and its people.
There are all-day breakfasts, including ballila with pine nuts, eggs and soujouk, fattet hummus and grilled halloumi cheese, the perfect start to your day.
The lunch menu includes a vast selection of cold and hot mezze, from mouttabal, warak enab, shanklish, and labneh with garlic to sautéed chicken livers, makanek, falafel tacos, and ras asfour with sweet, sticky pomegranate molasses and tabbouleh.
There’s also a grill menu, with all the usual favourites headlining, including lamb fillet and shawarma, daily changing dishes and a children’s menu.
The drinks are playful, with the tiramisu latte, date frappucino, oreoccino and Beit El Din, made from fresh kumquat, passion fruit syrup, brown sugar and ginger ale, top of our list. There’s also a Caramel Peanut Butter Milkshake, just because.
And of course, this is Dubai and this is a restaurant from one of the city’s hottest operators right now. So while the concept and the food are Beirut through and through, the location is unmistakably Dubai.
Views of Burj Khalifa from the outdoor terrace are stunning, though at Café Beirut, these might not be your primary reason for visiting. We’re suckers for a good story, and Cafe Beirut’s is a tale worth telling.