If you were to ask me about my best meal in recent weeks, I would be spoiled for choice but this is as deserving a choice as any. Tawlet or www.tawlet.com for ease of searching is probably my favourite restaurant in Beirut, a city not short on good eating.
Opened ( I believe) in 2009 by Kamal Mouzawak, Tawlet is a no fuss, no frills restaurant in Mar Mikhail where a different Lebanese Chef/housewife takes to the kitchen every day to prepare their regional specialities and favourite dishes.
For a ludicrously bargain price of $20 you are treated to around 10-12 salads/mezzes and a couple of hot dishes, Lebanese sweets and a small selection of cakes with Arak ( a delicious Lebanese spirit not dissimilar in theory to pastis but far, far superior) or homemade lemonade.
It took me a while to actually locate Tawlet when i was living in Beirut, the Lebanese aren’t quite so good at the idea of addresses per se – when i lived there, my address was “behind AUST” Achrafieh, Beirut which should give you a fair enough idea of what I’m saying… When I eventually managed to track it down I was hooked and it quickly became the place I would lunch on my rare day off.
On my recent return trip to Beirut, my second this year ( and fifth since i left 11 months ago) I ate there twice and each time was a fresh revelation. The ingredients are amongst the freshest you will ever experience anywhere and every dish whether familiar or not will delight your taste buds.
The charming waiter informed me on my first visit that the “chef” that days was his mother (my first attempt at the buffet is pictured above) My second visit, I was lucky enough to sample the dishes of Madame Rima from Beirut whose main courses in particular could have justified the flight price from Singapore to Beirut alone.
They are also responsible for the brilliant souk al tayab – a farmers market now located in downtown Beirut by the “souks” every Saturday where you can stock up on Zaatar, honey, olive oil and many, many more treats all from Lebanon’s bounteous Bekaa Valley and a highlight on any tourists trip to Beirut.