Review: With Love From Lebanon- Lebanese Food Festival at Sofitel Mumbai BKC

I have warm memories of gorging on some of the most delicious, succulent, fresh and generous portions of Lebanese delicacies on my only trip to Beirut. The Lebanese hospitality is legendary and the food fresh and bursting with health and flavors. In fact, the Lebanese believe you always have room for seconds and in my case even more :D. A meal at a Lebanese household or at an exotic restaurant in Lebanon is legendary stuff that only can be experienced in person.

The Lebanese food festival at Sofitel Mumbai BKC, aptly called "With Love From Lebanon" invited us on a culinary trip to this exotic land and we were hooked!! We stepped into the Pondicherry Cafe located at the lobby level of Sofitel Mumbai BKC and saw elements that reminded me of my unforgettable trip to the land of abundance.

The table setting was fabulous with Arabian decor and place-cards printed with fun facts from Lebanon. The servers were dressed to add to the authentic feel. Apart from the regular buffet spread, Chef Danny Deeb from Sofitel Bahrain had included authentic Lebanese dishes placed in a special Lebanese counter as well as a part of the spread.

With Chef Danny Deeb

We started with our favorite part- salads & dips....Fattoush- the tangy salad that is an universal  favorite. The flavors were beautiful but we missed the crunch of crisp pita breads in the salad. Hummus Beiruti- made with chickpeas & drizzled with olive oil was good enough to eat on its own or with warm pita bread. Do try Labneh- white Middle Eastern yogurt cheese that's healthy and tasty.

Hummus Beiruti

The live Shawarma counter attracted us & we ordered two to satiate our taste buds. Juicy and tender bits of skewered chicken and salad wrapped in pita bread laced with garlic dip.....what would you want more? Vine leaves lamb chops made with grape leaves & ground lamb were beautifully rolled & presented with slices of lemons. Just squeeze a bit of lime & enjoy them till they all disappear :) Wash it all down with a sweet, cool rose water drink that refreshes the palate with a beautiful lingering aroma.

Vine leaves lamb chops

In the mains we tried Hammour Harra- made with Hammour fish popular in Middle Eastern Cuisine,

Hammour Harra

Dawood Basha- minced meat balls in tomato sauce and Chicken with potatoes- a tangy dish made with chicken and potatoes in tomato sauce. Pair these dishes with Lebanese rice with  Vermicelli a beautiful dish made with only 3 ingredients- vermicelli, rice and olive oil. Moussaka- a dish made with baked aubergine, zucchini & tomatoes was another favorite.

Eggplant Moussaka

The highlight of our dessert indulgence in the Lebanese Festival was the dish famous from the days of Ottoman Empire- Baklava. Crisp buttery filo pastry layers filled with select chopped nuts, sweetened with honey or sugar syrup. We went for seconds and still wanted more!!! Basbousa- sweet semolina cake flavored with rose water is a do not miss dessert too.


The Lebanese Food Festival is on till November 13th at Pondicherry Cafe, Sofitel Mumbai BKC.

Call: 022 61175115
Timings: 7 pm onwards

Image Courtesy - Shubhranshu Bandoh.