A unique cultural history has helped to make Lebanese food the most popular of all Middle Eastern cuisines. For most of its past, Lebanon has been ruled by foreign powers that have influenced the types of food the Lebanese ate. For 400 years ,the Ottoman Turks controlled Lebanon and introduced a variety of foods that have become staples in the Lebanese diet, including olive oil, fresh bread, baklava (a sweet pastry dessert), laban (homemade yogurt), stuffed vegetables, and a variety of nuts. The Ottomans also increased the popularity of lamb.
After the Ottomans were defeated in World War I, France took control of Lebanon and ruled for 40 odd years. During this time, the French introduced some of their most widely eaten foods.
The Lebanese diet focuses on herbs, spices, and fresh ingredients (the Lebanese rarely eat leftovers), relying less on heavy sauces. Mint, parsley, oregano, garlic, allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon are the most common seasonings.
Mezze , a variety of flavorful hot and cold dishes, is another important part of the Lebanese diet. As many as forty small dishes are presented at once as either appetizers or as a meal itself. Hummus (chickpeas,sesame seed, and garlic paste), rice and meat wrapped in grape leaves, mashed beans, hot and cold salads, grilled seafood and meats (including kebabs , cooked cubes of lamb, peppers, and onions), and pickled vegetables are most popular.
Lebanese meals are rarely served in courses, but presented all at once.This is what happened with me today, when I visited Town House Café ,Outer Circle, Connaught Place…………….Yes this place is again by our most popular restaurteur in Delhi Mr. Priyank Sukhija, who opened Boombox Cafe and Warehouse Cafe in CP some time back. He has changed way people meet and party and have fun in Delhi.
As I entered this place , I was totally blown off my feet by its decor and royal interiors. Its is quite big in size and the plush decor makes you feel out of this world. The colonial style sofas in leather and also cubical style red lounge seating imparts an uber feeling altogether. The long wooden bar is very well designed and stocked. The size of the Cafe is mind boggling……….that too in the heart of New Delhi……….WOW
Coming back to Food, as i said i was here to try the newly introduced Lebanese food and being a Sunday the Lebanese Brunch was being served. I was clicking my pics of food and decor when i was approached by a young and humble man, who was very excited to see me clicking pics. He introduced himself as Executive Chef Anay Mukherjee and told me that he was happy that i was passionate and loved his food presentation .
The manager Mr. Rajeev Darvin asked us to be comfortable so that we can start eating our brunch. The service was better than what i expected. Our table was laid down with so many dishes one by one that their was no space left at all….The Chef explained us that Lebanese food is served all at once and all the members eat together from the platters itself.
So we started digging in, but the dishes were so many and so good, it was really getting difficult to rate and review one dish. As we started eating the Lamb kebab, the grilled fish came. And when we started enjoying the lovely mutton pilaaf (Biryani) 2 other dishes namely chicken and mutton shish-touk were served.
Oh My God, the taste and the flavors of each dish were so good. I could not believe I was having such authentic food, sitting in Delhi. I have tried and eaten Lebanese food many times, but not of this stature and quality. It was so so good. It was very authentic and most of the ingredients used were of very good quality.
The drinks we had were very normal and nothing to be written about. They were just like any other place, may be we need to try more next time to see the specialities……….
The most basic and most popular dish , the falafel was just average as per my taste. But the complex dishes like spinach fatayer, dejaz meshvi, hummus bin dejaz were too good. The cigar rolls ( chicken) were more like spring rolls but thin and more crispy. The sliced lamb stuffed with nuts and charcoal grilled was just heavenly and so were the lamb shish touk kebabs.The lamb and chicken kobide were also very nicely done. The dips like hummus, baba gannouj, beetroot hummus, artichoke hummus, tzatziki, alpino, labneh and other sour cream like dip was very well done and tasted awesome.
I had a chance of going inside the kitchen and see the dishes being made, and i would only say that the kitchen staff was ever smiling and very well trained. The styles used for cooking lebanese were so authentic that the kebabs which were to be grilled on charcoal were being grilled on a bar be que (charcoal) itself and not in electric ovens…………..Authenticity
The Desert was the Baklava which was again a highlight of the spread…..very nicely baked and topped with wholesome nuts served with honey. Totally to die for, thoroughly loved it.
AS my experience of Lebanese Brunch was extraordinary I am not giving individual rankings and points to the dishes. I loved the whole spread and would recommend everyone who loves to eat and try new dishes and cuisines, should definitely go and try it. The CHEF is so passionate about this food , he will explain you each and every dish with legends associated with it. Like he told us that Lebanese Food is very healthy and energy giving as in Lebanon a man can have 2, 3 or even 4 wives and to keep them all happy a man has to be full of vigour and vitality. And their food helps them in this regard. WOW what a funny reason to have such good and soul satiating food….. I can have this food any day but do not need any such funny reason to relish it………….lolzzz
All in all ,i will give full marks to the owners, the chefs and the staff for their respective jobs and duties which they are fulfilling passionately and whole heartedly………
They are planning to make this Sunday Brunch more lavish by adding other cuisines like Indian, Chinese etc to it .
Sunday Brunch pricing with mocktails is Rs.999/- ++ and with IMFL and cocktails is Rs.1599/-++ which is absolutely marvellous.
Ratings are from 1 to 5***** 1 being the least and 5 the Highest
Pricing – 4.0 / 5.0
Ambience – 4.0 / 5.0
Service – 4.0 / 5.0
Taste – 4.5 /5.0
Overall Rating for Lebanese Brunch – 4.5 / 5.0
Repeat Value – 5.0 / 5.0