Mai­son Libanaise

HK Magazine - - DINING -

Le­banese. 10 Shel­ley St., SoHo, 2111-2284.

Black Sheep Restau­rants’ 12th ven­ture is all about good Le­banese food and wine—but what makes it dif­fer­ent from your reg­u­lar ke­bab store down the road? Style, per­haps. The trendy and col­or­ful three-story restau­rant—neon sign and pretty girl logo and all—pays ho­mage to a Le­banese can­teen in 60s Beirut, and boasts an im­pres­sive wine menu of over 100 wines from the re­gion.

HIT Even with a no reser­va­tions pol­icy, we only had to wait around 10 min­utes on a busy week­night for a seat in the up­stairs din­ing room (Le Sa­lon). The hum­mus was served slightly rus­tic, and with plenty of tahini fla­vor. The baba ganoush was nicely smoky, and both were great por­tions for $48 each. The pulled lamb shoul­der ($198) was full of cumin, and per­fect for any lover of mut­ton. It paired well with creamy goat’s cheese, though the small por­tion didn’t quite jus­tify the price tag. The za’atar fried chicken ($108 for six pieces) let the earthy, spicy fla­vor of za’atar shine through in the mor­eish crispy bat­ter.

MISS Whether by ar­chi­tec­tural de­sign or just packed seat­ing, the din­ing room was some­how un­com­fort­ably noisy. Food also got cold too quickly, and a steam­ing bowl of pita or a soft, sweet pan-fried haloumi with honey glaze and Byzan­tine dress­ing ($108) was swiftly re­duced to a rub­bery mess.

BOT­TOM LINE We’d love to come back for a glass of wine and more mezze, al­though we might head to the up­stairs rooftop next time for some­where less noisy and chilly.

Open Sun-Thu noon-11pm, Fri-Sat noon-mid­night (Le Sa­lon). $$

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