Beirutby Simon Wilson
Photo: Ken Downie
Beirut is now closed.
Click here for the Metro Top 50 Restaurants for 2018
What makes it special?: Chef Javier Carmona’s interpretation of Middle Eastern food is astonishingly tasty and very beautiful to look at, too.
Behind the scenes: You may recognise names on the menu — fattoush, tabbouleh, frikkeh — but that won’t prepare you for the quality and style of the food. Chef Javier Carmona oversees the Mexico chain of restaurants, too, but it’s Beirut where he reveals his mastery. This is a menu to explore: the slow-braised goat, flavoured with cinnamon and fenugreek, is unbelievably tender; the skate dish, which includes fermented apple water, beeswax, pine oil and onion ash, is like nothing you’ll find anywhere else in town. The wine list is full of unusual treats, and at the bar they’re serving shrubs: vinegar-based fruit cocktails with or without alcohol. They’re divine.
A favourite dish: Smoked yoghurt labna with citrus burnt ghee, date, chickpea and scorched flatbread.
What it offers: Shared-plate options / Good for vegetarians / Free-range chicken and/or pork / Good seating outside / Takes large groups / Bar / Craft beer selection / Good cocktails
Chef: Javier Carmona, executive chef; Jacopo Crosti, head chef
Hours: Breakfast and Lunch Mon-Fri; Dinner Mon-Sat.
85 Fort St. Ph 367-6882, beirut.co.nz
Runner-up, Best New Restaurant; Finalist, Best Chef: Javier Carmona; Finalist, Best Bar; Finalist, Best All-Day Restaurant; Finalist, Best New Fitout; Finalist, Best Value for Money
In the era of fast fashion, what can consumers do to ensure what they're buying hasn't been made by exploited workers?Read more
Weather conditions have to be perfect for an outdoor curling match – last winter, for the first time in seven years, Naseby delivered.Read more
More than 100 students walked out of a Hamilton high school in protest after the principal said truants are more likely to wind up being a rape victimRead more
Colin Craig has withdrawn his claims for damages against his former press secretary Rachel MacGregor but is still suing her for defamation.Read more
Jacinda Ardern has used her first speech in the US to recommit the government to making New Zealand the best place in the world to be a child.Read more
Famous Kiwi women read the powerful words of Kate Sheppard, who fought for the right for women to vote.Read more
Nelson and Motueka are well known for their hops but Garston hops are starting to be noticed by brewers.Read more