The Food Philosophy

New Generation of Lebanese Quick Service Restaurants

Screenshot 2022-02-08 at 13.47.12.png

We believe that Beiruti represents a New Generation of Lebanese Quick Service Restaurants. Where authentic Lebanese food, freshly prepared in open kitchens, reaches your table fast. Where you interact with a digital menu in the language of your choice, with photos and explanations. Where the waiters and waitresses serve you with our Policy of Kindness, while also sharing with you the stories behind our dishes and adding a touch of culture to your experience. Where the music, the flavors, the aromas and the environment work together perfectly and let you experience true Lebanese Street Food culture. Where the interior is minimalistic with cultural expressions on its walls. Where open kitchens are a must. Where you are welcomed with open arms.

The mission was and always will be to bring real Lebanese flavors to your table. When we started the first Beiruti, we were fortunate enough to have to remarkable people on our team to define the tastes and flavors of Beiruti cuisine. Both of them were Lebanese, but they came from completely different food-backgrounds. One was a traditional chef of authentic Lebanese cuisine. She was filled with passion and fueled by the happy smiles of her guests when they tasted her food. The other was a young food scientist who had just graduated from Ghent University. Her passion was to see the food in its chemical composition. She was structured and organized, while the chef was artistic and free in the way she cooked. When they were in the kitchen together it seemed like an orchestra was playing, like a dance. Although they were opposites, they worked extremely well together in harmony.

My wife Caroline and I are also opposites in many ways. We come from different backgrounds and together we try to find the similarities in our societies. On this meeting point between Brussels and Beirut we found Beiruti, and so it was born. Throughout this adventure we have come up with a philosophy around our food and service that many of you, our amazing guests, told me to share. So, here we are!

´ONLY WATER`

In Beiruti, still and sparkling water are always on the house. It is crucial for you to have the full taste experience: water will not overtake the flavors of our balanced recipes. We do not serve orange juice, Cola, alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks simply because we love our food and we want you to enjoy its flavors without them being overpowered. This is where ONLY WATER came from. For our younger guests we do have flavored water from Franklins & Sons. As pharmacists they have developed natural flavors with no sweeteners or additives, making them a better choice for children.

The food tastes different when given the chance to be itself without competing with stronger liquid elements that could take over your taste buds.

PNG image-0BA1EA6E83B9-1.png
Screenshot 2022-03-14 at 13.27.33.png

In Beiruti, Nothing is Fried, Everything is Baked.

Falafel is a staple of Lebanese street food and it is usually deep fried. So is cauliflower and

aubergine in Lebanon. But we sat with our chef and food scientist and listened to the effects of frying oil on our stomachs and the dilution of taste… and it didn´t sound good. While we were in the midst of this explanation I remembered that my Teta (grandma) never had a fryer in her home. Not out of principle, but just because it wasn´t a normal thing to have in those days in Lebanon. She had an oven though, and managed to make the most delicious dishes in there.

We went with this idea, and it actually gave us room to boost our flavors. The Beetroot Falafel came out of a visit of Roger van Damme to Beiruti. He suggested to us that we use Beetroots and we listened. And so, Beetroot Falafel came to life! The Sweet Potato Falafel came from our cousins´ obsession with sweet potatoes. They even sent us the first samples from London, and the rest is history. Today we have four different falafel flavors and are working on a total of eleven!

Nothing is Fried, Everything is Baked.

No Salt, No Pepper, Olive Oil All the Way!

PNG image-5767BEA12A4D-1.png

In Beiruti, Nothing is Fried, Everything is Baked.

Falafel is a staple of Lebanese street food and it is usually deep fried. So is cauliflower and

aubergine in Lebanon. But we sat with our chef and food scientist and listened to the effects of frying oil on our stomachs and the dilution of taste… and it didn´t sound good. While we were in the midst of this explanation I remembered that my Teta (grandma) never had a fryer in her home. Not out of principle, but just because it wasn´t a normal thing to have in those days in Lebanon. She had an oven though, and managed to make the most delicious dishes in there.

We went with this idea, and it actually gave us room to boost our flavors. The Beetroot Falafel came out of a visit of Roger van Damme to Beiruti. He suggested to us that we use Beetroots and we listened. And so, Beetroot Falafel came to life! The Sweet Potato Falafel came from our cousins´ obsession with sweet potatoes. They even sent us the first samples from London, and the rest is history. Today we have four different falafel flavors and are working on a total of eleven!

The Cauliflower and to the Green Egg

Our cauliflower is made according a traditional recipe, but back in the day we would use a Tannour oven instead of the Green Egg. The Cauliflower is wrapped in salted dough, and by keeping the Green Egg at exactly 120 degrees we cook it in its own water. If you never liked Cauliflower as a kid, this could make you change your mind!

PNG image-06F6C36677D2-1.png

The Green Egg or 
the Red Kamado

I could tell you all of the reasons we use these instead of open grills but I´m afraid it will sound like a marketing stunt. So if you don’t mind, I will let you taste them for yourself!

The Aubergine, that´s all Caroline

This one´s Caroline´s fault. We had all agreed that the Aubergine would be peeled and baked in the Green Egg, but when it came to the sauce it was a heated discussion. I remember the looks on the faces of our chef and food scientist when Caroline proposed that the perfect sauce would be a mix of Tahini and Pomegranate molasses. Honestly, it was like UFC in that kitchen… Traditionally you just don´t mix these two. It is a bit like asking an Italian chef to mix Lemon Sorbet with Olive Oil, he would just think that you´ve lost your mind. So I took the chef and food scientist for a walk through Ghent. I remember walking next to the Gravensteen while the chef kept repeating ´Nehme, it cannot be done!´ When everyone had cooled down a bit we returned to Beiruti. To our surprise there was Caroline with her own creation. This is one of the qualities that I admire about my wife: she perseveres. It took a little convincing but eventually we all sat down to taste the Aubergine, and I could see the chef´s face change.

PNG image-89CDB35C8333-1.png
PNG image-58F850FCE4B3-1.png

We have the World´s Cutest takeaway boxes, environmentally friendly and FSC certified. Culturally in Lebanon when we finish eating it is customary to ask to take the food with you. Here in Beiruti we do the same: we encourage you at the end of your meal to ask us for our takeaway boxes and take the food you liked home with you, share it with your loved ones or keep it for tomorrow´s lunch. Like this we can do an honorable act together, preventing wastefulness.

No Food Left Behind

This principle is called ´Pain Before Pleasure´. Throughout our years in hospitality we realized that the guest´s experience went as follows: they arrive in the hotel or resort, enjoy a great vacation and come to the desk to check out well rested and happy. Then they receive the bill… how lovely. Paying is painful no matter who it is you are paying, and no one wants to end a beautiful experience with pain. We even started to give guests sweets and candy to bring their blood pressure back up after getting the check.

Together with some of our alumni from Cornel University we set a group study and came up with this concept: let´s erase the painful experience at the end and ask people to Pay First. That way they can leave with the happy feeling of harmony and bliss, without being interrupted by a bill. If I tell you it worked MAGIC. Today we adapted this same principle in all our restaurants.

Why Do You Pay First?

The Policy of Kindness

This is probably our most important philosophy, although it sounds pretty simple. Before we opened we sat around a table and agreed that ´Friendly Service` wasn´t enough for us. So we thought, maybe we want to be Polite and Friendly? It still didn´t feel quite right. After a lot of brainstorming and many plates of Hummus and Tabbouleh, we realized that our definite mission is to project our service with Kindness, in everything we do. We adapted this as our service policy: The Policy of Kindness.