Beirut is a city that is joined together by food, as it is central to all occasions, both personal and professional. Living in Beirut you will often dine out with work for business meetings, with your family for special occasions and with your friends for a bit of fun whenever you feel like it. In a city where food is at the forefront of everyone’s mind, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. However, this was no trouble for Kamal Mouzawak. Kamal began by opening the city’s first farmers market, and now has gone on to open his own restaurant. The two are intertwined by the growers of the produce for the farmer’s market providing the ingredients for Tawlet – and the result is sublime.
Think of Lebanese food. What are you picturing? Mezze? Charcoaled meats? Well, Tawlet will broaden your food horizons. Think about dishes of eggplant, chicken and rice pilaf with nuts, or Armenian sausage cooked in pomegranate molasses. The food is more exciting than the regular restaurants that you will find in Beirut, yet it is created with the love and tenderness of home cooked meal. One other thing- you will never get bored of the menu. The menu changes daily- as does the chef. The restaurant remains exciting and intriguing to even the most regular customers, as it offers up new local specialities every day.
The ambiance left us with mixed emotions. The building itself is lovely. It is a far cry from it’s gritty and residential surroundings, and is a welcome change in scenery. Tawlet is bright, funky and modern, with rows of bottled plants and low hanging lights. However, whilst the restaurant is a delight to be in, the crowd can turn the mood a bit sour. Expect to be sitting in amongst a cooler-than-thou crowd, the type who bask in the aura of their own hip-ness and want everyone around them to know how effortlessly stylish they are. You probably will not hear any Lebanese either, as these cool beings like to only speak in French.
Tawlet is open for lunch and dinner, offering a ‘business lunch’ at a lower price. The restaurant also offers many other services. One of these is a catering service. The cook will work with you to create either an intimate meal in your home, or provide the food for a large event. Another service is one that we definitely want to take part in the future- a cooking class. For $60 USD per person, Tawlet will help you to create wondrous dishes based on a theme. The themes are ‘Lebanese Cusine 101’, ‘All About Kebbeh’, ‘Chouf Mountain Food’, ‘Southern Taste’, ‘Forgotten West Beqaa’, ‘Armenian 101’ and ‘All About Mahashi’. A minimum of 6 people are required per class.
Value for money
The dining style at Tawlet is an open buffet, so you will always know how much you are paying. It is extremely reasonable at 40,000 LBP, or $26.5 USD per person for the buffet. That is under $30 for a full meal!