A friend of mine first noticed Beirut Lebanon on Jalan H. Agus Salim (or famously known as Sabang) during his visit to Jakarta back in 2007. He had yet got the chance to try it out, until a few Sundays ago. Knowing all too well that restaurants offering Arabian dishes aren’t that abundant in Jakarta, I tagged along to try what it has to offer.
arranged to meet before the sunset, so I could catch the sun setting behind the
buildings along Jalan Sabang through the window right next to our table. It was
not the prettiest sunset I have ever watched, but it was a nice change from the
monotonous dinner inside the shopping malls that always becomes claustrophobic
at busy hours like this.
The restaurant is located on the second storey. From the ground level, it is easily overlooked, unless you look up and see the sign. At the time of our visit, there was nobody else there, despite the time showing almost dinner. A bad sign? Hardly.
|Resto on 2nd storey|
|Best spot: tables by the window|
Browsing through the menu may require some concentration as they’re nothing like the familiar offerings we are used to. You can find essential Arabian dishes such as hummus and falafel for appetizers, shawarma for the main course and other things. Surprisingly, you can also find Indonesian & seafood dishes, likewise basic pastas in the last few pages of the menu. I suppose Beirut Lebanon is playing safe, just in case your dining companion cannot stomach anything as adventurous as the highly recommended Chicken Shawarma. The Shawarma is basically grilled marinated slices of chicken, with tahine sauce, french fries & salad. The presence of French fries makes the dish less authentic, but it still does the trick to suit the local palate.
|Jallab: traditional Lebanese drink with date (buah kurma) & sugar IDR 16,500|
|Hummos Bil Tahini (chickpeas with sesame paste, lemon & olive oil) with complimentary Pita Bread IDR 20,000|
|Sorbat Adas (lentil soup blended with onion & cumin powder) IDR 20,500|
|Falafel (4 pcs fried chickpeas with Tahina Sauce) IDR 24,000|
|STRONGLY recommended: Chicken Shawarma IDR 50,000|
I wonder if the shopping malls are doing justice to places like these. In terms of taste & price, Beirut Lebanon is definitely much better than many other restaurants we can find in the shopping malls. It is rather unfortunate that the shopping-mall culture is already deeply ingrained in the society, that establishments like Beirut Lebanon are in danger of disappearing into oblivion. Is it worth a try? Definitely yes, and be rest assured that you don’t need to do more window-shopping, because you won’t be put in the waiting list.
Beirut Lebanon Restaurant
JL. H. Agus Salim No. 57
Jakarta Pusat 10350
Ph: (021) 31938147
Open Hours: 10am - 2am
*) This article has been previously published on The Jakarta Globe Blogs under Life Lived section, 11 February 2012