Sun, 07 January 2024
Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay recently introduced a captivating gastronomy journey through its new restaurant, Byblos. Farah Baig visited this beautiful beachfront restaurant which charmed her with its idyllic setting and immersive dinner experience.
Dining at Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay is an incomparable experience. They’re unique offerings, careful attention to detail, warm hospitality and inspired creativity guarantee you a memorable visit. Much to my delight, the hotel has launched a beachside Lebanese restaurant, Byblos.
My first impression of the venue is that it provides the perfect setting for an evening of good food and conversation with loved ones. Inspired by the Mediterranean Sea and the ancient city in Lebanon, the restaurant is designed with soothing turquoise and white tones and offers indoor and outdoor seating. Flickering torches, warm lighting and ambient music create an atmosphere that is both captivating and inviting.
During our visit, Oriental Specialty Chef Tony El Khoury briefed us on the menu which features a modern take on recipes from his hometown, Zahle. To begin our veritable feast we were served the Mixed Mezza Platter which featured seven Lebanese staples that served as a treat for the eyes and palate too. We dipped the warm, freshly-made pita bread into the delectable Hummus, Muttabal, Muhammara and Pumpkin Hummus which had the perfect balance of flavours and textures. Delicious Stuffed Vine Leaves and Tabbouleh brought us the familiar, tangy flavours of Lebanon that we have grown to love.
Lebanese food is known for its use of fresh ingredients, with the best of vegetables and herbs taking centre stage. So we were delighted to savour the Shankleesh Salad – a delightful mix of cheese, finely diced vegetables and a generous drizzle of rich olive oil. Next was the Beetroot Carpaccio Salad which harmonised the flavours of beetroot, feta cheese, walnuts and crisp lettuce.
After tucking into its range of cold mezzes and salads we were ready for some hot appetisers. Spinach Fatayer, Kibbeh, Cheese Springrolls and a modern Chicken Shawarma Manakeesh delighted us. I truly enjoyed the Kibbeh, a Lebanese staple that perfectly combines spiced minced beef with pine nuts. This was followed by Chef Tony’s Shrimp Freekeh which was flavoured with pesto – a creative twist.
We were quite satiated but Byblos’ main courses beckoned us further into its world of Lebanese delights. We enjoyed the Shish Tawook, a crowd pleaser that was just divine with its toum (garlic sauce). We were mesmerised by the reinvented Lamb Shank Ouzi which was slow cooked and finished in a blanket of puff pastry. Chef Tony himself expertly presented the dish, demonstrating the tenderness of the meat which effortlessly falls off the bone. From the flavourful rice to the crunch of the roasted nuts, the tenderness of the meat and the silky gravy, this Ouzi was absolutely divine.
Finally, presented with mesemerising theatrics, we were served a delightful Kunafa garnished with crushed pistachios and ice cream. We enjoyed the delicious cheese, and buttery flavour of this Kunafa – a sweet finish to this feast.
Byblos is open daily from sunset to midnight, and is closed on Mondays. Needless to say, I’ll soon be back at this tranquil retreat.