T and I, along with a few (very hungry) foodies, were invited by Nasma Beyrouth to try their newly launched menu this week for dinner at Beirut City Centre in Hazmieh.
And we weren’t expecting the delicious surprise that awaited us!
Are you ready for this?
Dinner Time: New Creations and Traditional Lebanese Dishes at Nasma Beyrouth
I wanted something fresh to drink so I went for the Pomegranate Juice (8,500 LBP). Just check out this awesome bottle!
We started with Fattoush, of course, going for the version topped with crunchy toasted sesame bread (instead of the standard Lebanese pita bread) and slices of halloumi cheese (11,750 LBP). It had just the right amount of pomegranate molasses, which, in my opinion, is a MUST in any Fattoush salad recipe!
The Garden Salad with cheese (13,750 LBP) followed, served with a honey and lemon basil dressing; one of the new menu items at Nasma Beyrouth. Its dressing was quite tasty and the combination of ingredients was a welcomed change from the standard salads you find on any Lebanese restaurant menu. The presentation could be somewhat improved.
Cold Mezza at Nasma Beyrouth
We ordered the Trio Nasma Beyrouth (14,750 LBP) consisting of 3 mini bowls of Almond Mhammara, Olive Salad, and Eggplant Makdous stuffed with creamy labne and pomegranate. The almond mhammara was rather mushy and the olive salad was a tad salty (yes, yes, I know olives are salty). I didn’t try the Makdous.
The Slow Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini “Cauliflower Mtabbal” (10,750 LBP) was recommended by our waiter. Wow! Definitely one of my favourite new items! The flavours were so on-point and the crunchy fried cauliflower topping was a great final touch, complementing the smooth-ish grainy texture of the mtabbal. Highly recommended!
For a light appetizer, I would recommend the “Battenjen Raheb” which is grilled eggplant with white cheese, diced vegetables, and purslane with Bulghari cheese (8,500 LBP). The smokey flavour of the eggplant combined with the mixed colourful vegetables was delicious. And come on, add cheese to anything and you’re bound to get something tasty 😉
We tried 3 versions of Hummus, one of our nation’s most beloved dishes. Hummus with minced meat and pine nuts (11,750 LBP), Hummus Pesto (10,750 LBP), and Hummus Nasma (7,500 LBP). My favourite was Hummus Nasma; the “secret” special spices allowed for a very appetizing combination! I wasn’t a fan of the red cabbage decor though.
Seafood lovers will enjoy Nasma’s Spicy Fish with vegetables and mixed nuts (16,750 LBP), which is served with dark rye bread. The white fish was so moist and flaky swimming in an extremely flavourful sauce.
I haven’t finished just yet..
Next up is the Labne mixed with vegetables served with crispy mankoushe zaatar flatbread (8,750). I liked the creamy labne and veggies mix, but I didn’t like the mankoushe at all since it was way too oily. It was as though it was fried! Pair the labne with the soft bread with sesame and cumin seeds; now this bread is OUTSTANDING and should be served with more of Nasma dishes!
and now for the Hot stuff
Exceptionally tasty hot mezza dishes at Nasma Beyrouth include the Kafta & Cheese Toshka (16,000 LBP) and their special Fish Kebbe stuffed with shrimps and onion (16,750 LBP). Highly recommended!
Cheese lovers will fall in love with this new Baked Bulghari Cheese with spinach and olive oil (13,250 LBP) served with toasted pita bread for dipping. It’s kind of like a Lebanese version of our Bar Tartine favourite 😉
Roasted Chicken Markouk Wraps (13,750 LBP) served with yogurt was another new item on the menu. I wasn’t a huge fan of these on their own, but when paired with the yogurt, they tasted much better!
“Sujouk Uncle Miguel” (13,750 LBP), a unique twist to the renowned chili con carne using soujouk (spicy sausages) instead of ground beef. It wasn’t bad, but I still prefer the original version. It’s topped with guacamole (which needed more lemon) and served with plain nachos.
The Grilled Cheese Rolls i.e. “Rakakat” (7,250 LBP) are very flavourful and highly recommended. You can also order them fried, but we’re obviously trying to lose weight and stay healthy here!
Cubes of chicken with halloumi cheese in paprika sauce and another in pesto sauce (13,750 LBP). We all preferred the pesto version over the paprika. Perfectly moist chicken in a creamy pesto sauce served with toasted pita bread. I would add some green herbs for a touch of colour.
Oh, and this is a sneak peak of what it’s like to go out for dinner with foodies haha
Just TRY to get a picture of each dish properly with all these flashing lights, shadows, and hovering hands! I challenge you!
Main Dishes at Nasma Beyrouth
We were stuffed, but we couldn’t leave without trying a few of the mains at Nasma Beyrouth.
Nasma’s mains were a bit of a letdown compared to the delicious mezza we had earlier.
As soon as we finished, the waiter places beautiful “perfume bottle” sprays instead of hand gel to wipe off the evidence that we actually ate (and we can’t breathe from our full bellies) and trick our senses into making room for a little sweet temptation. Okay, forget little.
And now for the “masterpieces” of the evening: Dessert
Unfortunately, I couldn’t try any one of these beauties since I am fasting on sweets during the period of Lent. HOWEVER, these luxurious treats were a huge hit at our table.
I’d love to come back and try the dessert menu after Lent!
All in all, it was a great experience with many unique and playful twists to our very versatile Lebanese cuisine.
I love the general ambiance and casual atmosphere of Nasma Beyrouth in Beirut City Centre; you don’t even feel that you’re actually in a mall! The decoration is very tasteful and the presentation of the food compliments the aesthetic features of the restaurant.
Prices are quite reasonable for some of the items; however, they were a bit on the higher end in comparison to other Lebanese restaurants.
I’d like to say a few words concerning the service we experienced over dinner at Nasma Beyrouth, which was BEYOND excellent. Our waiters were extremely professional, friendly, and attentive. I didn’t even notice that they changed my cutlery at one point! Like I said, attentive, and that’s always a huge bonus. When we make the decision to go out to a restaurant, we expect to receive the best possible service; otherwise, we can simply order delivery and stay in the comfort of our own homes without the hassle of dealing with ill-mannered, moody or lazy staff members and bad service. Nasma Beyrouth shows exactly what great service should look like, so I’d really like to stress on that positive element. Chapeau bas to your whole team!
Thank you Nasma Beyrouth for your hospitality. I will surely be back again 🙂 Especially to get this in my belly:
Address: City Centre Beirut, L3, Hazmieh, Baabda District
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