The décor might not be up to much, but it’s the Lebanese cuisine that has made Beyrut such a favourite with Azeris and foreigners in-the-know, to say nothing of Baku’s fairly large expat Lebanese community. While the presentation of the restaurant may be nothing to write home about, the same certainly can’t be said of the food. Muttabal (aubergine dip) comes studded with pomegranate seeds; houmous is a creamy whirl scattered with chopped parsley, while the fattoush salad has just the right balance of sharp, citrus tang and fresh, coarse-chopped garden herbs. On the main courses, the simply named ‘rice with meat’ is a great unctuous hunk of slow-baked mutton, which melts like butter in your mouth, served with a plov cooked to perfection and sprinkled with raisins, browned onions and toasted cashews. Makes my
mouth water just thinking about it.