Tired from the previous night’s clubbing and bar-hopping, it is a wonder I managed to stumble out of bed before 11 every morning for the Phoenicia breakfast. This is a morning feast you do not want to miss and I ensured I never did, desperate for my coffee and croissant fix. Little did I know, the excitement continues for other mealtimes with equally impressive displays. I went to experience lunch at Mosaic with the lovely Phoenicia PR girls.
The buffet is presented in a spacious hall, much like a smart school canteen. Overlooking the marina with large light filled windows, I personally always prefer being able to see what I’m eating so loved having a meal there. We took a tour round the food: traditional and modern, Lebanese, European and International even Indian and Oriental food represented. The restaurant offers every Middle Eastern dish you could ever hope to try and a huge variety of other treats too. Dishes change regularly according to season and I’ve heard the Friday seafood nights are legendary! It is set out as an open kitchen space, with exciting and engaging displays and live cooking stations so guests can partake in the process, choosing ingredients and watch the food being made… I had great fun deciding which sauces, toppings and vegetables to have!
To start I chose a selection of Lebanese pastries, salads, breads and cheeses – all extremely fresh and light, intensely flavoured with herbs and seasoned deliciously. I particularly loved the popular tabbouleh salad which can be made according to your preference. The highlight though was the chicken and beef Sharwarma served with salad, tomatoes, garlic mayonnaise and pickles… this is insanely tasty grilled meat shaved off the rotating cooker… it was tender with a salty crispy edge, completely moreish and addictive. As it is cooked so close to the seating area all the food arrives piping hot and straight from the oven… it is the ideal layout to taste the food at its very best. If someone could make Chicken Sharwarma this good in London, I would insist on gorging on it every day.
I was amazed to discover that the other cuisines Mosaic offers are just as wonderful, prepared and presented with care and attention using the freshest ingredients. The lamb curry in the Indian section was fragrant and delicious, with soft meat off the bone and an authentically spiced sauce and the pasta was incredibly scrumptious and satisfying.
Dessert was a rollercoaster of indecision… sweets of every kind, lined up beautifully. The Phoenicia have two pastry chefs, for the Lebanese traditional pastries and for the delicate Parisian treats. I returned to my table greedily with two plates of colourful cakes. My favourite were the pretty macaroons, homemade in turquoise, pale pink and yellow, but it was all good. The crème brulee was creamy and light, chocolate cake was soft and indulgent and the mini eclairs were adorable and very easy to gobble up.
We finished with traditional thick Lebanese coffee, quite different to the English, bitter and strong but the sweet man in traditional dress was too endearing to refuse.
Mosaic provides fantasy feasts for guests at every mealtime, it is one of the unique features that makes the Phoenicia such a special hotel.
Breakfast 7:30 to 11:30 am
Lunch 12:00 to 4:00 pm
Dinner 8:00 pm to 1:00 am
More information here.
Thoroughly Modern Milly travelled with bmi, British Midland International. British Midland International flies direct from London Heathrow to Beirut offering ten flights per week. Flights are twice daily on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays with a daily service on all other days. Fares are available from £485 return including all taxes and charges. For more information and to book visit www.flybmi.com