Restaurant Name: Rue Du Liban, Fort, Mumbai
Phone: 022 2286 4444
Address: 43, Sasoon Building, VB Gandhi Marg, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra India
Time: 7 AM to 12 Midnight
Meals for two: Rs. 3,000
Facilities: Restricted Entry, Valet Parking Available, Table booking recommended
Hallelujah! A star is born. It has risen in Kala Ghoda. It sparkles with flavor, authenticity and nostalgia and recreates the Levant. What is the Levant? A place? A flavor? A region which serves up tastes of all cultures in the Southeast corner of the Mediterranean? All this and more. And the three month old Rue du Liban not only serves up these authentic flavors but does so in a refined, gracious fine dine ambiance. The perfect place to dine with the charming gracious couple, leading cardiologist, specializing in echocardiography Shahrukh Golwalla and Dina Golwala. Both well-traveled Levantine cuisine buffs. It’s delicious and healthy too… just what the doctor ordered.
Rue Du Liban, Fort, Mumbai Restaurant: Decor
Walk in and Whoosh! You’re transported into the gracious and vibrant era of Beirut when it was “Paris of the Middle East”. Glamour suffuses the dramatically dimly lit space. Every detail orchestrates that feeling: art installation of suspended transparent olive leaves, maroon booths, green walls with watermarks of olive trees, filigreed lights, mirrors… Kudos UK’s Atelier Rosendale Design.
Rue Du Liban, Fort, Mumbai Restaurant: Food
Joy of joys! My metaphors get mixed up when I taste the perfect “Mouhamara” — walnutty, garlicky, red peppery and pomegranate molasses notes harmonize in the most classic creamy, nutty, spicy, sweet and tangy symphony. Smoked Aubergine “Rahib” crowned with pistachios delights. Spell it “hommos” or “hummus”, the crucial point is the taste and texture factor and RDL aces the Hommos Beiruty. Dish after dish sashays in handcrafted crockery, bespoke brass-ware.
Cheese lovers mecca – Go for the Grilled Haloumi Cheese with Pomegranate Molasses. Love what they do with Labneh Goat Cheese, top it with sumac and fried mint (Labneh Meizeh), strain the creamy yogurt spike it with garlic and dry mint (Labneh Mtawameh). Aged and dried Shanklish Cheese is a must try. As is the hot-off-the-grill Signature Shish Touk with that delightful “toum” (creamy garlicky) sauce. Vegetarians go for the tasty Okra (Bemeieh Bziet) and the Haricot Beans (Loubieh Bzeit). Delicious beef Lahme Meshwi, charcoal grilled to perfection and served on freshly baked bread with Biwaz and Shatta is a must try. Sweet finale of multi textured Ossmallieh Vermicili Pastry, velvetty Tahini Ice cream and rich with pistachios ice cream are our recommendations.
Rue Du Liban, Fort, Mumbai Restaurant: Minus Points
Grilled meats are one of the major draws of this cuisine. Unfortunately the mixed grill platter Mashewi Mshakal serves up dry overdone meats. Ditto for the home made Lebanese Lamb Sausages (soujok). Even the Fish Samka Harra lacks moisture. No alcohol license and open only for dinner. Small portions are the other drawbacks.
Rue Du Liban, Fort, Mumbai Restaurant: My Point
Ushering in the “Paris of the East” glamour that Beirut was once known for. Suffused with the gracious fine dine vibe that is rare in todays “casual cafe” world. Rue du Liban serves up Levantine fare of the “fertile crescent” in the Mediterranean region that was the cradle of civilization, more than 10,000 years ago. I love this ancient cuisine of Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Syria, Turkey, Egypt and Cyprus. It retains it’s fresh yet exotic, healthy deliciousness. To ensure authenticity, RDL has brought in Beirut’s famed consultant chef Athanasios Kargatzidis to mastermind and monitor the menus. I dined unannounced and met him bustling in the kitchen along with Devendra Ketle. So he is obviously there on a regular basis. Add to that the glamour dripping ambiance, super service and you know why we’re rejoicing at this sexily glamorous new arrival. Kudos Juhi Chawla, Jay Mehta, Arja Shridhar, Sam Malde. Pity we cannot a raise a toast to you in your restaurant. Hope you receive your liquor license soon. Marhaba!