We are a long way from Beirut, but for those who have been lucky enough to travel to Lebanon, one of the strongest takeaways is its amazing food and party culture.
Zizo is tucked away on the first floor in Greater Kailash's M Block market, which is incidentally slowly finding its feet on the city's food map.Located a floor below Sakely's cafe (this works in its favour as it is hugely popular, especially in winter so you can't help but glance at Zizo through the glass facade as you climb the stairs to get to the cafe) the space is uncluttered, unpretentious and modern.
Both the CEO/partner Fouad Abdel Malak* and chef at Zizo are from Beirut and for a moment you forget where you are.
Chef Danny speaks passionately about his creations and goes to great lengths to tell us that they use organise produce in their food whenever possible. For example, the molasses used in preparing fatoush is organic as are some of the herbs.They even serve a mulberry juice which uses organic berries.
I don't go with high expectations, given that Lebanese food in India is always middling. Yet Zizo surprises with its clean, authentic flavours and to-die-for pita.
Honestly, that bread is fresh, warm and retains the earthiness of the oven it is baked in.You can't eat a Lebanese meal without ordering the mezze platter which has a lightly seasoned, fresh fattoush salad, hummus that is buttery and delicious, falafel that retains no oil and spicy moutabbal and pickles.
The mini bites platter also allows you to sample the spinach fatayer which is reminiscent of samosas, zatar (like mini pizzas with lamb) and parcels of pastry with bulghari cheese which reminded me of pizza with a cheesy crust.Leave room for the mains as the braised leg of lamb with oriental rice and gravy comes highly recommended, the meat practically falling off the bone. There are some interesting vegetarian and chicken options on the menu as well.
Skip dessert if you are not one for rose water and strong flavours.
We tried the osmalieh which is a pretty confection of dry vermicelli and flavoured cream but was too strong for my liking.
You should have your meal with a delicious Turkish coffee if you like it strong.
Recommended for the exceptional service, hearty flavours and a value for money experience.
While they are currently operating out of Greater Kailash 1 and Connaught Place, we hear that they will be opening in Gurgaon very soon.
Meal for two
Rs 1400 plus taxes (alcohol separate)
*An earlier version of the story had incorrectly spelt the name of the restaurant and gave the impression that the restaurant's manager is from Beirut. The correction has been made.