I’m lucky enough to have a job where I have the opportunity to take my clients out to dine. I often try to take them to places that may be new on on the scene so that they can have a new experience.
Recently I took a client out to lunch to Beirut, a new middle eastern restaurant in Auckland’s Fort Street.
Let’s just start with the decor – cool, dark colours with sweeping curtains that reached to a high ceiling. They’ve made such a good use of mixing this deep colour palette with warm textures of wood and burnished metals. All in all it felt sumptuous yet airy and very welcoming.
The bar is amazing. It is huge! Located in a separate area to the main restaurant, it feels like a place you can go for a quick drink on a Friday night if time doesn’t allow for a full dinner. It was bustling, with plenty of floor space and on the bar, people had set up laptops to drink and go online – that’s the kind of comfortable vibe this place has.
We started with a mix of breads and dips and some lovely cocktails made from ‘shrubs’ which is a syrup made with a mix of fresh and dried fruits, vegatables, vinegars and herbs. I had fig and apple with fresh apple slices and Calvados. It was delicious so I had two!
All of the tables are set up with a little plate of middle eastern salts and sprinkles that the amazing wait staff talked us through.
For our mains we selected from a comprehensive list of tasting plates – I’ll link the menu here so that you can see the full breadth of food that they offer.
We chose the Kingfish Kibbeh Nayeh, a beautiful raw fish dish that has white and yellow turmeric, pink peppercorns, citrus and honey.
We also had a beautiful watermelon salad which sounds weird, but went beautifully with the other dishes we ordered. The slow braised goat in cinnamon, fenugreek and ginger was particularly delicious and was so soft and tender with just the right balance of flavours. We ordered the beef Basturma which was also tender and delicious with the most amazing torched cauliflour. The most amazing dish of all was the Duck Ras El Hanout. It was melt in your mouth deliciousness, served with rose petal jam and baby beets.
I’m sorry to say that I ran out of time to order desert, but I saw others who partook and let’s just say that next time, I’m ordering those donuts!
So, food was amazing, the decor was lovely and the wait staff had impeccable service.
All in all I had a wonderful experience at Beirut. What a find. I’ve already recommended this place to quite a few people who have already gone there and agree with me.
If you have the chance to go – do! You won’t regret it.