Middle Eastern cuisine is something that we are all familiar with. From the bustling Middle Eastern restaurants in Manila to the shawarma stands of a corner stall to the big air-conditioned malls. But how sure are we that what we had is as authentic as it gets?
Here comes Beiruti Bite, a passion project from a Lebanese expat who wanted to bring the authentic taste of Middle Eastern-Mediterranean cooking after sampling out some of the restaurants around the metro and found them a bit lacking.
We found ourselves in the heart of Quezon City with a promise of getting to taste Lebanese cuisine that is as authentic as it gets.
Initial impressions are positive. The place is cozy, adorned with ingredients and ornaments from Beirut, and can seat up to 40 guests. The staff is friendly and the chef is funny. You can also have a shisha session with your friends here. PHP 195.00 for the regular shisha or a fruit shisha in where the ceramic bowl is changed for a fruit for just PHP 250.00.
When I was toured around the place, I was told that not only the spices and some of the ingredients were imported, but some of the tools used in cooking too! I am more than familiar with the the shawarma machine, but it is the first time I’ve seen a saj stove up close. It gave the feeling that I was in one of those travel channel shows.
First was a sampler of pickled chili and carrots with a side of tahini, garlic and lemon paste, and garlic and lemon paste with paprika which is just the relish of the cold mezza.
The cold mezzas (from right to left): the Hummus (Php 120) pureed chickpeas with garlic, lemon juice, sesame paste and drizzled with olive oil. My favorite of the trio, the Moutabal (Php 120), the same ingredients like the hummus sans the pureed chickpeas but with roasted eggplant instead. The Baba Ghanoush (Php 120), eggplant mixed with onions, tomatoes, and olive oil.