It never ceases to amaze how gems can be found in unlikely places. Tucked away in a quiet residential neighborhood, in a mall that has seen better days, is an unassuming Lebanese restaurant in Heliopolis that serves the best food we’ve tasted in years. Owner Sami Fouad takes immense pride in using authentic ingredients and spices to achieve unparalleled taste. We visited to sample the iftar set menu and left without an inch of stomach space to spare.
Signatures Dishes & Dishes Sampled
Signature items include the Shish Tawook, Kafta Maajooka Sandwich, Lebanese Hummos, and Baba Ghanouj.
What can we say? It seemed every dish on the menu was on our table. We can’t describe every single dish as it will fill 5 pages, so here are the highlights! The Muhhamara is exceptional – the traditional walnut and red pepper spread had us flying, crunchy and fresh Fattoush salad along with the staple Tabboula salad are winners, the Moutabel is unlike any other we have tasted due to the yogurt added which lightens it by miles. Sujuk, Kebbeh, a variety of cheese and meat samboussak are all light and amazingly tasty – the halloumi cheese is 100% authentic and sourced from a secret Lebanese export factory! A traditional meat dish named Ras Asfoor was also on the table, serving as a springboard for many jokes. No, it’s not actually bird heads, just the name for this particular cut of meat. The tender beef accompanied by some batates kozbara – potato cubes with coriander – made a perfect pairing.
A major key note here is how light all the food is, not at all heavy as most Lebanese cuisine in the city tends to be. For mains, we sampled the Shish Tawook, Kofta Lebnani, and marinated boneless chicken. All beautifully prepared and spiced, the chicken was succulent and perfectly marinated in traditional Lebanese spices and chargrilled, giving it a lovely smoky flavor.
Other Menu Options that Appealed
We’ll definitely be back to enjoy more mezze dishes and items from the à-la-cârte menu like Kofta Maa’jouqa and Kofta Khoshkash.
Décor & Ambience
Tabak Beirut has a feature we always enjoy – an open kitchen, with no cooking smell in the space. Simple wooden tables fill the space and the color palette of the interior and furnishings is white and aqua blue, clean and crisp. This is a no frills restaurant where the focus is on the food and flavor. A garden space sits in front with additional tables, a TV screen airing Ramadan TV series (and the World Cup eventually!) and an opportunity to enjoy your cup of tea and shisha with a lovely breeze cooling you down in summer.
Ambience is warm and friendly. The owner of Tabak Beirut is usually on premises ensuring that operations are running smoothly and offers a friendly face and nice chat with regulars. This place is like a home away from home for residents of Sheraton and beyond.
Clientele mix: Young couples out on a date and families.
Price range: Unbelievably affordable and topnotch quality. It is a dream come true.
Opening Hours: 10 am – 2 am. Breakfast provided.
Ramadan Hours: 1 pm – 3 am.
Address: Florida Mall – Gad El Haq Street, El Sheraton
Tel: 0115 808 4000