Nothing like browsing through four pages full of mezzehs to get your taste buds tingling.
There is more than one reason I crave Lebanese cuisine. Besides the obvious – the delicious food – there is something exciting about looking through your menu and deciding what to pick from the long list of appetizers. The variety usually encourages me and my dinner partners to share several mezzehs so we can get the chance to sample a little bit of everything.
InterContinental CityStars’ Fayruz offers a wide selection of mouth-watering hot and cold mezzehs sure to leave you spoilt for choice.
The restaurant is dimly-lit and resembles a huge dining hall, designed and furnished to make you feel as if you are in a Beirut suburb. The tables are positioned perfectly enclosing a stage in the back, where guests are treated to nightly live entertainment. And some may claim, hosts the city’s best belly dancer.
After reviewing the long list of appetizers, my dinner partner and I finally decided to go for the stuffed vine leaves, sausages, spinach pastries and a special Fayruz salad.
Shortly after, our waiter appeared with a tray full of everything we ordered, served with fresh baked bread; thin as paper.
As we sampled our appetizers, we knew we made the right choices. The stuffed vine leaves (served cold) had a tangy, yet subtle flavor, while the sausages on the other hand were spicy.
A personal favorite were the spinach pastries that were baked fresh and served hot from the oven. The spinach had a sour flavor that was perfectly complemented by the soft dough.
Fayruz’s salad was a mixture of onions, watercress, lettuce and mushrooms, that had a fresh taste and was served marinated in the restaurant’s special dressing.
For those opting for a wider selection of appetizers, the menu includes an assortment of mezzehs for two people (LE 110), four (LE 210), six (LE 310) or eight (LE 510).
As soon as we were done with our mezzehs, our main courses made their way to our table. I opted for the Shish Tawouq (LE 85), while my dinner partner chose the grilled fish (LE 105).
What was special about our main entries is their presentation, each placed in front of us on a mini copper grill, with coal sizzling underneath the chicken/fish, making sure it stays warm throughout our meal.
The main courses are served with your choice of rice or French fries, with tomatoes and bell peppers on the grill acting as garnish.
At around 9 pm, spot lights hit the stage as a singer appeared and started serenading those present with classic songs, mainly by the restaurant’s namesake Fairouz. She was shortly accompanied by another singer as they both sang popular duets.
There was just enough room in our bellies for dessert, so I went for a typical choice; Um Ali, while my dinner partner played it safe, ordering ice cream.
Our waiter appeared shortly after with our orders that were each served on wooden stands. The Um Ali was served hot from the oven and satisfied my taste buds with its perfect texture; it was neither too soggy nor too dry.
The InterContinental is famous for its restaurants and Fayruz is certainly no exception. Its inclusive menu will have you returning until you’ve tried everything its kitchen has to offer.