Hakini Lebneni - Coffee by Najjar a New Bistro with Yummy Creations in Ashraifeh
Lebanese people love food and that is one of the main reasons we have so many restaurants with many creative concepts that have taken over the Middle East and the world. Hakini Lebneni is the new baby from the awesome people behind Najjar a Lebanese bistro serving progressive food with a unique touch. The place is located in Ashrafieh facing Byblos headquarters where previously Cafe Najjar was located. The menu has endless choices with very reasonable prices.Their concept is to prepare less fatty food by using spices to give flavors instead of frying food.
• Our "coup de coeur" was the Hummus Dip Bouquet. It consisted of 3 mini platters: regular hummus, hummus with caviar and hummus with dried figs. We adored the twists they made since we never thought that caviar or dried figs would give an exceptional result when mixed with the hummus.
• The Bulgur Balila salad made the perfect start to our lunch as it contained bulgur and chickpeas topped with a veggie garnish in a refreshing lemon sauce. The combination of bulgur and chickpeas was great and the vegetables added a touch of fresh crunchiness to the dish.
• The Black Lentil Baklawa was amazing as it consisted of crispy baklava dough filled with black lentil salad in a lemon sauce. We liked the mixture between the textures and the refreshing taste of the lentil salad. They have the option to add salmon and surprisingly it went very well with the lentil.
• We found the healthy version of Shawarma that consisted of 2 chicken and 2 beef shawarma wraps. The wrap was filled with either succulent beef or chicken and grilled. The oils in the filling made the wrap crispy although it was baked and not fried. The meat was very well marinated. The wraps were finger licking good. They were served with tahini and spicy tomato dip. We would have preferred garlic over the tomato for the chicken shawarma wrap.
• The Taouk Wrap is a must try. It was very light and tasty. It consisted of oven-baked tannour bread filled with barbecued chicken breast and grilled peppers. The chicken slices were juicy and perfectly marinated. We loved the flavors in the sandwich. It was served with pickles, fries and a special sauce (kerchup base). The fries were seasoned, crispy and not oily at all. We would have preferred a garlic sauce.
• For desserts we had the Cinnamon Apple Cheese Halawa. When we talk about the originality of Hakini Lebneni we mean mixing cinnamon and apple with the traditional Halewe Bjeben that we love, and replacing the ashta with sweet cheese. The result was exceptional as it felt more fresh and lighter. They respected the "low fat" concept even in the dessert.
We loved the light yet flavorful food served at Hakini Lebneni. We wish them the success in their plan of opening branches worldwide to let foreigners taste exquisite Lebanese food. This is the image that we want others to have from Lebanon.