Leila Min Lebnen
Leila Min Lebnen, literally translates to ‘Leila from Lebanon,’ is relatively a newly established destination for authentic Lebanese cuisine, since back to 2006. It’s owners have now expanded the brand to include two delightful new outlets Kahwet Leila (Leila’s Coffee shop) and Matbakh Leila (Leila’s kitchen).
Leila restaurant has many branches in Lebanon, and in Beirut itself, as well as the GCC and now Alexandria. I always used to visit its very first branch in ABC Mall Achrafieh, however, I have fell in love, thanks to a couple of my friends, with the one in Dbayeh. Purely delightful! & I’m not just talking about the food here.
It’s decoration is a simple and modern mix of vintage Lebanese items: labels of music icons, traditional coffee sets, shelves of mason jars and clay pots of traditional jam, syrups, vinegar bottles and labneh makbouseh, and not to forget beautiful chandeliers and oh… Flower arrangements, fresh and lovely on almost every table :)
Leila’s clientele are almost from all backgrounds, for despite the dispute among the Lebanese, ironically, two things can successfully pull us together: Food and fashion. Also, it’s a must go-to destination for all tourists alike. some make it almost a daily routine! Stopping by for coffee, some dessert, or an arghileh (of which I hate!).
We went for dinner last time, and have had a luscious array of Lebanese Mezze: Humus with minced beef on top, aubergine Mtabbal (baked aubergine with tahini, lemon juice and a sprinkle of salt, topped with olive oil when presented), Sujuk (Armenian hot sausages), Tabbouleh (shame on you if you don’t know what that is ;) ), Fattoush (traditional Lebanese salad), Rahib salad (or the Monk’s salad: baked aubergine with some minced tomato, parsley, onions, lemon juice that could be substituted with pomegranate, and topped with olive oil upon presentation), Batata Harra (fried potato cubes, with coriander, garlic and hot spices), Makanik (Lebanese sausages), potatoes that are baked in an old-fashioned wooden oven, and freshly made Lebanese bread… Yummmm… As for the main dish, we had the famous Arayiss Kafta (Lebanese kabab wrapped within two layers of Lebanese bread, and baked), served with old-fashioned yogurt with chopped cucumbers and garlic. All were perfectly delicious…
Whether you are in Lebanon, Dubai, Bahrain, Egypt, or Kuwait, Leila Min Lebnen is definitely a must go to destination if you would like to grasp a bit of the Lebanese culture, with a modern twist. Don’t forget to grab one (or some) of their traditionally made Lebanese jam and syrups! Ask any of the staff to help you make a choice, they are so helpful and friendly!
Until next time!
Hiba Min Lebnen