October 4th, 2023
We recently had the pleasure of visiting Beirut Habibi, the latest addition to Bangsar’s diverse dining scene. Even before we stepped into this unique, cosy little eatery, we were intrigued by the prospect of a meal that blends the vibrant flavours of Modern Australian cuisine with the rich culinary heritage of Lebanon. It’s an unusual combination to be sure, but if anyone could make it work, it would be the BIG Group, the innovative company behind this breakfast-and-lunch-only restaurant.
The story behind Beirut Habibi’s creation adds an extra layer of charm to the experience. It all began during the lockdown back in 2020 when global travel was largely limited to the imagination. BIG Group CEO Benjamin Yong fondly reminisced about his family’s enjoyment of a heartwarming Lebanese feast during those challenging times. That unforgettable moment became the inspiration for creating Beirut Habibi, a place ‘where the power of food creates connections and fosters a sense of community.’
As we perused the concise menu, we were still unsure what to expect – but some good aromas were coming out of the kitchen! Drawing inspiration from the bustling streets of Beirut and the laid-back charm of Australian café culture, the culinary team at Beirut Habibi crafted a straightforward menu that effortlessly combines traditional Lebanese ingredients and techniques with a modern Australian twist.
For breakfast, the options were both comforting and innovative. The Habibi Big Breakfast caught our attention with its delightful combination of fluffy scrambled eggs, cucumber tomato salad, potato rosti, and avocado. The choice of house-cured beetroot salmon, lamb kofta, or mushroom kebab elevated this classic dish to new heights. However, we landed on the Shakshuka, infused with traditional Lebanese spices and served with Arabic flatbread and ciabatta, which was a delectable journey for the senses – and a hearty meal, too. (Breakfast dishes can be ordered at any time, so don’t feel confined to either side of the menu!)
On the lunch half of the menu, however, Beirut Habibi beckoned with an array of enticing options. The menu featured fresh salads and sandwiches, each offering a unique twist on familiar classics. The Tahini Caesar, topped with a soft-boiled egg and crispy sumac flatbread, sounded great, as did the Flame-grilled Lamb Kofta on Baguette. For those seeking vegan-friendly choices, the Kale Salad with roasted vegetables and crispy chickpeas and the Avocado Fattoush salad is likely to be a satisfying choice.
Throughout our dining experience, the warm and inviting atmosphere of Beirut Habibi kept capturing our attention, and really deserves a special word. It’s clear that a lot of thought and care went into the design and décor here – tucked into a leafy neighbourhood part of Bangsar, there is just an immediate appeal when you walk in. (There are also a few tables outside, should al fresco dining be your thing.) The attentive staff provided impeccable service, ensuring that we felt more like guests in a comfortable home.
With a stylish, contemporary dining area and that charming outdoor terrace, Beirut Habibi offers the perfect setting to enjoy a fusion of Modern Australian and Lebanese flavours. We’d like to have sampled more, but between the salads, the smoked salmon, the outrageously delicious breads, and the flavour-packed Shakshuka, we just didn’t have enough room!
We’re keen to see what the future holds for this delightful little restaurant. Though we admittedly found a few of the choices on the menu to be priced on the high side, a number of dishes also offered genuinely outstanding value, so as the menu continues to be refined over time, it’s likely a more balanced set of options will prevail. The BIG Group has been successfully doing the F&B thing for a while now, so we have high hopes for Beirut Haibibi!
Location & Details
Beirut Habibi by The BIG Group
Taman Weng Lock, No. 11B, Lorong Kurau
Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur
T: 03.2282 3571