Li Beirut

Lebanese fine dining with a European twist in Abu Dhabi Discuss this article

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The fine dining Lebanese restaurant at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers offers something a little different among the plethora of shish taouks that grace our fine city. The menu is interesting – they have a small selection of mezze, with classics like vine leaves and tabbouleh, but it’s the mains and starters that caught our attention.

To start, we ordered the baked halibut fillet and the foie gras kebbeh. The former was a perfect little pastry parcel encasing a wonderfully flakey piece of fish, accompanied by a dot of pomegranate jus and a smear of pumpkin puree – each adding their own flavour characteristics to the whole, tart and sweet respectively.

The foie gras kebbeh was a very interesting take. A substantial lobe of foie gras was sandwiched between two halves of a kebbeh shell. Taking the top off revealed the shell to be hollow but had little morsels of foie gras nestled inside – these were very moist, which helped take the edge off the dryness of the kebbeh shell. The dish was not as rich as we were concerned it would be, helped by the walnut chutney that the kebbeh was sitting on, and the small slices of caramelised honey pear dotted around the plate.

For mains we ordered the zaatar crusted rack of lamb and the braised beef cheek. The former consisted of two substantial chops, cooked to a perfect medium, accompanied by a stack of sweet potato slices, a spoon of tomato jam and shaved black truffle. The zaatar crust gave superb flavour without overshadowing the meat in any way. The tomato jam was neither too sweet nor too acidic and the black truffle was indulgently delicious. The beef cheek was sat upon a bed of couscous and was doused with a fortified grape jus. The meat didn’t give as much under the fork as we expected, but all fears were put aside when it fell apart in the mouth. The couscous was subtly flavoured while the jus was so succulent and sticky that we couldn’t stop eating until we were fit to burst.

Though full, we simply couldn’t resist dessert. The honey fudge consisted of caramel filled ‘cigars’ resting on a cream knefe that was disappointing, surrounded by fantastic rosewater scented truffles and a scoop of vanilla ice cream that was so light it was almost a sorbet. We also ordered the layered spice cake which came with a wonderful pot of sweet pear chutney. The cake was not particularly spiced but it was flavoursome, sweet and just the perfect consistency – moist but with bite, a clear winner.

The service was impeccable, though not as informed as some other fine-dining restaurants, and the plating was elegant and without pretension. We will be going back.

The bill (for two)
Baked halibut
Dhs60
Foie gras kebbeh Dhs90
Rack of lamb Dhs155
Braised beef cheek Dhs125
Honey fudge Dhs55
Layered spice cake Dhs55
Total (excluding service) Dhs540

By Time Out Abu Dhabi staff
Time Out Abu Dhabi,

Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.

Details

  • Location: Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, Ras Al Akhdar, Abu Dhabi
  • Tel: 02 811 5555
  • Travel: Corniche Road
  • Cuisine: Arabic, Lebanese
  • Times: Open daily noon-3pm, 7pm-midnight
  • Price: Dhs500+
  • Credit Cards Accepted: Yes

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