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Danielle Issa 03 Sep 2014

Five Hot New Menu Items to Crush on in Beirut Right Now

It’s no secret that Beirutis bore easily, and this general rule of thumb cascades to our dining choices. A restaurant may hold us captive for a month or two at best, but once the honeymoon period is over, we’re out seeking a replacement. Restaurateurs know this all to well, which is why they are constantly reinventing their menus and food offerings. What may have started out as a salad bar at its debut could totally transform into a sushi bar within mere months.

Let’s have a taste of some of the novelties our local dining venues are dishing up to keep us baited indefinitely!

1. Casper & Gambini’s New Salad Bar

(Image via Facebook)

Casper & Gambini recently introduced a fresh salad bar (24,500 LL) to complement its traditional slate of salads, sandwiches, burgers, and platters. But this is no stingy spread: they’ve got tender marinated chicken breast cut into thick slices; quinoa; wheat berry; grilled yellow, red, and green bell peppers; grilled zucchini and eggplant; and a whole lot more. One bowl could easily sate your hunger, but why stop there when it’s “all you can eat”? Suck in that paunch, suck up your pride, and refill your bowl pronto!

Casper & Gambini’s
Dunes Center
Tel.: +9611797797
Click here to see additional locations across Lebanon.

2. Sushi Ko’s Special Qunioa Sushi Rolls

Everyone knows sushi is a healthy food option. Quinoa, too, is taking the capital by storm for its purported nutritional benefits. But what happens when you merge the two? Sushi Ko’s gone and done it, launching a new line of quinoa sushi bites. Their pioneer quinoa rolls (7,000 LL-13,000 LL) feature quinoa, rice, guacamole sauce and your fish of choice all bound with rice paper, which is high in dietary fiber and Vitamin A and low in cholesterol. Quinoa tataki (9,000 LL-10,000 LL) is fashioned like a ping pong ball, starring quinoa and steamed rice wrapped with either salmon or tuna. You’ll adore their quinoa tartar (11,000 LL-17,000 LL), host to fresh cubes of salmon, tuna, or shrimp served on a bed of steamed rice.

Sushi Ko
Golden Tulip Serenada Hotel
Tel.: +9611739539
Mob.: +96170211199
Click here to see additional locations across Lebanon.

3. PF Chang’s Introduces Sushi to Menu

(Image via PF Chang’s Website)

PF Chang’s has made a name for itself as a modern Chinese-American bistro with fresh, simple, and lip-smackingly tasty food. The international chain is famous for its Mongolian beef, and who doesn’t swoon at the thought of their signature martini glass brimming with Dynamite Shrimp? Well the game’s about to get heated, because PF Chang’s now serves sushi at its two Beirut outlets. You’ll love their Dynamite Shrimp Roll, a California Roll topped with spicy shrimp and finished with a creamy sriracha sauce. The Dragon stars spicy tuna and a kani kama mix, all bundled with cucumber and avocado and speckled with sesame seeds. We always knew China and Japan could make some powerful synergy.

PF Chang’s
ABC Mall
Tel.: +9611332132
Click here to see additional locations across Lebanon.

4. New Ice Cream Offerings at Al Hallab

(Image via No Garlic No Onions)

Oriental sweets and Al Hallab have become nearly synonymous, as the pastry empire (aptly called “Kasr el Helo” in Arabic) has been crafting some of the finest specimens of Lebanese goodies for over 130 years. Beloved are their 7alawet el jiben, znoud el sit, 3asmalieh, sha3biyet, and more, but this summer, they’ve defied tradition and introduced an all-new, ice-cream-intensive lineup. Opt for the Arij of Tripoli, which piles on balls of pistachio-studded ashta ice cream lying atop a bed of warm mafroukeh. Aish el Kaser is another winner, with crunchy vermicelli serving as a nice textural contrast to ashta ice cream and, of course, more pistachio!

Al Hallab
Riad el Solh Street
Tel.: +9616435927
Tel.: +9616444445
Click here to see additional locations across Lebanon.

5. Mandaloun Launches Stand-alone Boulangerie and Patisserie

(Image via No Garlic No Onions)

I’ve always doted on the bread selection offered at Mandaloun’s salad bar, as well as the prominent display of desserts and loaf cakes that tempt unsuspecting passersby. It was only a matter of time before the restaurant decided to launch a stand-alone boulangerie and patisserie next to its Dbayeh stronghold. In the bread department, choices include baguettes, bâtards, pain au fromage, brioche, fougasse, and croissant. Tear yourself away from the savory to get a load of the sweet: tarts, flourless cakes, angel cake, bagged cookies, chocolate dipped pretzels, macarons, and more. Finesse at its finest.

Al Mandaloun Cafe
Dbayeh Old Road
Tel.: +9614545422
Tel.: +9615445411
Mob.: +96171545411
Click here to see additional locations across Lebanon.