Greeted and welcomed by some oversized Phoenician statues at the entrance, the award-winning BYBLOS SUR MER delights your palate with its authentic Lebanese specialties by the sea at the InterContinental Abu Dhabi. mylifestylenews writes.
Set against the backdrop of the sea and the marina, BYBLOS SUR MER is an additional add-on of a separate maison from the InterContinental Hotel in Abu Dhabi within leisure walking distance. With a pleasant stroll along the marina’s board walk towards to the seafront, BYBLOS SUR MER awaits your arrival to delight your palate for a traditional Lebanese dining experience.
The maison is “guarded” by a few oversized Phoenician statues at the side of the main entrance, but by entering through the glass door, a warm greeting by the hostess at the indoor entrance awaits everyone arrival. Above the entrance waiting lounge is a semi-spiral glass and metal steel stairway which leads you to the upstairs bar and lounge area with eye catching lanterns with a light bulb design motif. These hang freely in a straight line down from the duplex high ceiling juxtaposing the framed shisha pipes mounted to the wall, which immediately takes you to the mood of the journey of the Orient.
With a prior reservation, we were immediately identified and escorted to the restaurant straight away instead of having any pre-drinks at the upstairs lounge. BYBLOS SUR MER is widely spread out with a separate section for the non-smoking area on a small lifted platform up to the right, with three minimalist stained glass windows drawing natural light from outside of the marina, which creates an understated elegance and cozy environ to the entire corner of the restaurant.
Some modern twisted design wall panels painted in gold are contrasting the wood carving upper windows and yet setting well with the brownish yellow sphere glass hanging lamps and the matching water tumbler on fresh white table linens.
Classy yet elegant, BYBLOS SUR MER ambience is certainly without much of those busy tourist joint restaurants design or over displayed with traditional ornaments, it is genuinely tasteful here. Leading to the centre of the restaurant is a small stage together with a dance floor where traditional Lebanese music plays on weekend evenings. Looking up to the hollow pyramid beamed tower is where it houses the upstairs bar and lounge with the access from the entrance stairway.
A small wall of fame hanging a few Lebanese celebrities and societies photos enlightens the ambience in the restaurant and large floor to ceiling doors surrounding the dining area also leads to the outdoor terrace by the sea offering sunset views out to the Gulf of Arabia.
BYBLOS SUR MER serves lavish authentic Lebanese food, from its spectacular variety of mezzeh plates (equivalent to a meal by itself) which is always a good start and a traditional way to experience and also to explore Lebanese cuisine. From Hummus (Chickpea puree with tahini and olive oil), Moutabal (Char-grilled eggplants puree, pomegranate and tahini), Labneh Phoenician (Tomato, olives, green onion, olive oil and basil), Innabiyeh (Stuffed vine leaves with tomato and pomegranate dip), Ajami (Egg plants puree, fried eggplants, molasses and walnuts), Tabouleh ( Mixed parsley, tomato, mint, onion and olive oil, fine white burghul), Fatouch (Oriental vegetable salad with sumac bread, walnuts and molasses) to hot mezzeh like Makenek (Lamb sausage with oriental spices and lime), Sujok (Spicy lamb sausage, tomato and onion Provencal), Jwaneh (Chicken wings, corianger, garlic and lime juice), Kasbeh W Rouman (Pan-fried chicken liver with pomegranate molasses), Shawarma Bil Katayef (Shawarma-flavoured spare ribs, tahini with onion and blushed tomato)……just to name a few are already enough to fill your stomach before main course is served.
From such a tradition of a Lebanese way of putting their food on the table, you can’t question how warm and proud they are to present to their guest from the freshest produce they have to offer from their kitchen. Such hospitality makes you feel that you are very much welcome when you are invited to a Lebanese dining table.
One can’t be too greedy especially when so much mezzeh lies ahead before the main course is served. So, a Machawi Mchakaleh (Mixed grill platter of a variety of meat: taouk, lamb tikka, kofta, lamb chop) is ideal to further sample the Lebanese delights and not having any room for other Grilled seafood or chicken dishes which was very much tempting when we saw it served at the table beside us.
Every time when we opt for Lebanese food, especially a good and generous one, we always leave not only with a happy face but also a happy stomach as we always over indulge with its delightful and sumptous spread as well as being spoilt by the choice. Since its opening, BYBLOS SUR MER has been well-received by all gourmands visiting Abu Dhabi that is certainly a dining experience worth savouring. Do ask for a chilled glass of arak – preferred in star anis flavor that will make the best digestive for the most satisfying meals in the evening.
Tried & Tested:
Design & Decor: 4/5
Food & Beverage: 4.5/5
Value For Money: 4/5
King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud Street,Tel: +971 2 666 6888
PO Box 4171, Abu Dhabi, UAE
PO Box 4171, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Reviews are based on actual day of visit and experience. mylifestylenews reserves the right of final decision in case of any disputes. All images are photographed by mylifestylenews team without any photoshop enhancement and are the property owned by mylifestylenews unless otherwise stated.