The Best of Beirut
on Nov 6, 2014 By Danielle Issa
There’s something incredibly handy about eating from a cup.
Unlike a plate, you can easily grip a cup and bring it close to your mouth to convey its contents. You can also effortlessly scoop out every last morsel of a cup’s contents with a spoon—that wouldn’t work so nicely if they were splayed across a plate. And finally, a cup is readily transportable and doesn’t confine you to a seated position. Cup it and go!
Beirut restaurants seem to be catching on to the virtues of the cup, and they’re using them as vehicles for the dessert course. Here are our favorite picks of the pantry that we trust will make your cup runneth over with pure goodness.
Ice cream is best suited for a cup, and the folks at The Met put that self-truth to wise use with their inimitable chocolat mou. Picture a giant glass cup layered generously with dense chocolate ice cream and silky whipped cream; then topped with chocolate shavings and crunchy nut clusters; and lastly drizzled in chocolate fudge.
Ok, stop picturing and look above—isn’t it irresistible? A long-stemmed spoon will guarantee you scrape the cup bottom empty clean, and we sure hope you do.
Ever heard the expression “death by chocolate?” The Garden’s chocolate and coffee-flavored mousse cup manifests this phrase marvelously.
A thick dark chocolate ganache decorated with chocolate petals and a chocolate cigar crowns the topmost layer of a milk chocolate mousse. Beneath it lays a second layer perfumed with the aroma of coffee beans. The base gives you a reprise of milky chocolate, but by this point, you’ll be long gone to choco-heaven.
The Jewelry Souks, Beirut Souks Mall
How about something more rooted in Lebanese tradition? The Chocolate Halawa dessert cup at Shawarmanji is probably the last thing you’d expect to try at the distinctly shawarma-centric fast food joint.
Don’t overlook it: a plastic cup housing a creamy concoction of sesame-seed-derived halawa covered with a concentrated coating of chocolate custard. For 3,500 LL, this is probably the best dessert deal in town, and you’ll find yourself frequenting the sandwich outlet just for a taste of pastry flair.
Hamra Main street
Image via NoGarlicNoOnions
Orfali understands that a meat-heavy meal requires a palate-cleansing dessert to wash it all down, and hence their Yummy Jar. Commence with a layer of chocolate mousse which gives way to a decadent banana-infused cream.
For textural contrast, a thick blend of crushed digestive biscuits scattered with candied sesame seeds follows, only to be sandwiched from its underside by more banana cream. Here’s a happily confused pie we wouldn’t mind obliterating!
Petro Trad Street
Image via NoGarlicNoOnions
This might seem like an oddball, but Taanayel Les Fermes’ dessert cups deserve a mention on this list. My favorite is the classic mhalabieh, a true-to-taste rendition of the revered Lebanese custard scented with orange blossom water.
The crème caramel masterfully evokes the taste of burnt caramel, and the chocolate dessert is a proper mousse for dark chocolate lovers. These delightful little treasures are for the calorie-conscious, as all three dial in at less than 200kcal/portion. And for nearly a buck each, they’re painless on the pocketbook.
Image via Eat Like a Dietiant
Danielle Issa is a food blogger in Lebanon. You can find her on Twitter, and be sure to check out her blog, Beirutista.
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