Address: 10, Shelly Street, SoHo
Maison Lebanese, the new venture and 12th dining space by hospitality group Black Sheep Restaurants, sits comfortably below the Central-Soho escalators. Continuing Black Sheep’s success, Maison Lebanese features authentic Lebanese that is inspired by 1960s Beirut. Like Beirut in 1960s, it draws inspiration from French architecture, fashion and Lebanese traditions, but most importantly “progressive food”.
Maison Lebanese is set on 3 floors, the 1st a takeaway named ‘le Comptoir’ that offers an all-day menu and 2nd floor ‘le Salon’, a more formal dining space. ‘La Buvette’ or rooftop is set to open as a relaxed wine bar, bringing us an extensive and worldly selection to sample. Both dining spaces are walk-in only so come early before its too late!
We went on to the second floor to sample their soft opening menu.
What we ate:
Smokey Baba Ganoush (behind/red)
- Creamy and weirdly enough, cheesy, but lacks the intense smoked flavor. Slight kick from paprika. Not bad but not great either.
Hummus bi Tahini (front)
- Homemade, slightly lemony and not too salty. Tahini flavor comes through and gives it a good consistency and creaminess. But could be smoother.
Pita– Very good cushiony pita, definitely some of the best I’ve had!
- Tangy, herby and fresh. Onion not too powerful. A great fresh, colorful dish.
- Addictive and crispy ‘za’ taar croutons’ paired with fresh ingredients. Baba Ganoush sits at bottom as a sauce.
- Colorful and beautifully presented, this is a modern take on traditional Lebanese.
- A good dish, though could do with more grilled eggplant.
Sea Bream– Pan fried, roasted, paired with tahini, walnuts and a parsley salad.
- Interesting combination with tahini and tabouleh.
- Could do with more crispiness on top and seemed dry. More citrus or sauce would have rounded out the dish.
Lamb Kibbeh– Ground lean lamb, cracked wheat, zesty labneh, soft herbs
- Best dish of the night!
- Tender moist lamb meat balls with tones of sweetness from pomegranate, fresh mint and coriander. Paired with yogurt sauce at the bottom, to offset the richness of the meatballs. Yum!
Maison Lebanese brings us a fresh spin on otherwise well known Lebanese classics. Use of fresh ingredients and traditional cooking gives us multicolor and appetizing dishes. Its true that we eat with our eyes first, and they have definitely achieved this! Service needs to be improved, as the mains took 30 minutes (we became very hungry) to arrive. Otherwise, Maison Lebanese is worth visiting and only shows Black Sheep group’s thriving success!
Expect a larger menu with more offerings in the future! So watch the space for updates!