Friday, May 01, 2009

Leil Nhar, Beirut

Leil Nhar
Ashrafieh facing Sagesse School
Hekmeh Street
01 325326

Leil Nhar means "Day and Night" and is a wonderful eatery that is open 24 hours. The vibe we got when we walked in was that of a 60's style diner transported into 2009. The place was buzzing at midnight when all the eateries in the nearby mall had closed for the day. It was filled with young people, just chatting and laughing, smoking cigarettes, having fun and just enjoying the company of their friends. The bright decor and the large screens playing cartoon network with the volume muted but English subtitles, just added to the lively atmosphere

The menu is mostly breakfast kind of items with a few pizzas and desserts thrown in for good measure. The menu is divided into traditional Lebanese breakfast items(1000-4500), various cheese platters(6000-7500), salads (6750-8750), baked potatoes with different stuffings(4500-7000), sandwiches(6250-11000), pizzas(9000-11500), Desserts(3500-6000) and drinks(1000-4500)

We ordered the eggs and potato sandwich (6250) which had mint, tomatoes, olives and olive oil thrown in for taste and I ordered the crab sandwich (7250). My sandwich was excellent - light, crispy and fresh with the lettuce and lemon mayo not masking the delicate flavor of the crab meat. Sandwiches are served rolled in Lebanese pita/eish/khubuz which is a very thin bread compared to what is served as Lebanese bread outside of Lebanon. The closest I could compare it to is an Indian Roomali Roti, but this is much softer.

I also ordered an eggs and bacon (9000) which was eggs scrambled with bacon served with freshly baked Lebanese bread, cucumbers, tomatoes and olives.

To drink we had a carrot juice (4250) and a Lemon Iced Tea(3750), both excellent.

Our first experience with Lebanese food was excellent. Everything we ate was light, fresh, clean and just felt so healthy. No wonder Lebanese are known for their wonderful looks and complexions. if I eat this healthy and fresh daily, my complexion should improve too.

The desserts on display looked excellent especially the marshmallow cake (chocolate cake topped with marshmallows and smarties (6000), but we were quite stuffed with our mains and dessert seemed too decadent after all the healthy food. So we turned it down, which in hindsight we could have indulged in, given the steep climb to reach our hotel! (all those calories would have simply melted away)

Leil Nhar does deliver home except the egg items.

Our bill came to 36750 with 2 large bottles of water. The bill came printed with both Lebanese currency value and the dollar value. There is a 10% VAT added onto the prices. The dollar value was about 25USD.

Service was excellent, quiet, quick, unobtrusive but extremely attentive. We'd love to go back if we were staying longer and I didnt have this compulsive need to try out as many different restaurants that I can in each city that I visit.

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