Beirut Restaurant Review – Manchester

Salaams and welcome back to the Halal Blogosphere, where we have been in an extended halal hibernation since before Ramadan. Apologies for the absence and just like your favourite Uncle or Auntie we’re back!

For our comeback review we decided to pack our bags and leave Birmingham, yes we do travel and we were granted a visa to leave the second city and headed for the home of the premier league champions Manchester! The purpose of our visit was to see a new play by one of our friends which was showing at Contact Theatre and then to pay a visit to the British Muslim Heritage Centre. We enjoyed the theatre and were thoroughly inspired by the work and vision of the BMHC which in our humble opinions has the potential to be one of the most amazing Muslim led cultural initiatives in the UK.

Enough of art and culture what about the food I hear you cry!

Based on the recommendation of our local theatre star we headed to Wilmslow Road and ended up at Beirut Restuarant a Lebanese restaurant in the middle of the strip. The restaurant itself looks pleasant enough, the decor is of a good standard fusing traditional and contemporary design features. We arrived around 10pm and it was great to experience the buzz and energy of Wilmslow Road. As a Brummie I have to confess I love our Balti Triangle but we seem to have lost the energy and the atmosphere that is alive and kicking in Manchester’s famed curry mile. 

The restaurant wasn’t particularly busy when we arrived and we were promptly seated. The menu is fairly standard in terms of Lebanese cuisine, the restaurant doesn’t have a live website and didn’t have any menus to take away. I forgot to photograph the menu before we left so apologies in advance if I don’t remember all the dish names.

When it came to ordering we encountered our first problem, the restaurant had no sharwarma left. That becomes a bigger problem when shawarma is a key component of a number of your dishes whether its starters or main courses. It’s a bit like an Indian restaurant running out of chicken tikka!

On the plus side it does make you experiment and try something different. For starters we ordered hummus, chicken liver and a pizza. The restuarant served complimentary bread and olives. The starters were ok, nothing spectacular, the highlight was definitely the chicken liver. The pizza and hummus were what you would expect. Credit to the service team they were more than happy to replenish the very nice traditional chilli sauce they serve.

For the mains we ordered a selection of kofta chicken, lamb chops, a full baby chicken, rice, fries, a kofta chicken wrap and a traditional pastry based meat dish. We were hoping for something really special with the mains unfortunately it was a bit of a mixed bag.

The traditional pastry dish which I thought would be a deep filled pie was another pizza type dish, hands up I should have asked for clarification. I was expecting Beirut’s equivalent of a Betty’s Hotpot but we got a second pizza type dish instead! The chicken was underwhelming, both the kofta and the baby chicken were on the dry side. The lamb chops were much better. The highlight of our dining experience was the traditional Arabic tea we ordered to round off our evening meal. There is nothing better to complete an evening with at a Middle Eastern restaurant. 

Our experience at Beirut was ok, it wasn’t brilliant and when you come to Manchester you always have higher expectations. The restaurant has a nice atmosphere but overall it felt like we had one of those last customers in a restaurant experience when some of the food you really want is not available and then the alternatives you select don’t really hit the spot. Customer service was ok, our waiter was helpful in offering alternative suggestions of what to eat but sadly the food didn’t quite hit the spot.

Our group of four diners paid £55 for a set of four starters, four mains, soft drinks and Arabic tea. In terms of pricing its fairly standard for mid range Arabic restaurant.

So what are the scores, George Doors?

Quality of Food 6
Prices 6
Quality of Space 7
Quality of Service 6

Overall rating 6

 

Overall Experience 6

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