BEIRUT: In the back streets of Beirut’s Mar Mikhael, Maryool could easily be missed if not for the sketched donkey sign hanging above the littered street — an interesting way of inviting customers in.
Maryool colloquially translates to apron and for any Lebanese person, hearing the word may bring memories of mothers and grandmothers wrapped in their kitchen aprons ready to cook a warm Sunday lunch.
The restaurant’s subtle decor — traditional terrazzo tiled walls and hardwood tables — is cozy and inviting.
As we sat down, the waiter offered us satisfying crudités accompanied by a mysterious bright green, layered dip: A cream cheese and feta layer with a rocca wasabi puree and crunchy crushed almonds. It was a delicious, and unexpected, start to the dining experience.
The Ramadan menu features Moroccan lentil soup, garden salads and a selection of main dishes, including Lebanese couscous, locally known as moghrabieh, and spinach and chard stew.
Our meal, however, started off with the hummus chorizo. A tough choice had to be made from a selection of signature hummus toppings, with Portobello mushrooms and merguez sausages among the options.
We opted for the small, spicy sausage bites that generously occupied the deep oil-filled well of the hummus swirl.
Our main course parade began with the kibbeh Scotch egg, a Lebanese twist on an all-time British classic. A soft-boiled egg hugged by a beef kibbeh croquette arrived at our table, however, it sadly lacked flavor and crunch.
Then came the more appetizing Iraqi kibbeh Mosul, a flat charcoal grilled robust beef pie lightly stuffed with a coriander, parsley and onion filling — a successful update on the classic beef and onion padding.
Rounding out the main course were the chicken and beef tacos with such an Arab twist you’d think they had moustaches and played the dirbakke.
However, the chicken musakhan taco was disappointing and can be better described as an elevated Mediterranean chicken fajita with its strips of chicken on a bed of lettuce, topped with crispy shallots and a mild garlic yoghurt sauce.
The rib-eye shawarma tacos were the heroes of the evening, boasting well-seasoned steak that was enhanced with the tang of tahini, tomato and parsley.
For dessert, the tamriyye is a must-order. A crunchy Palestinian sweet and a traditional delicacy to enjoy after a long day of fasting.
Source: FS – All – Interesting – News
Beirut’s Mayrool offers home cooking with a twist for iftar