Mezze without falafel is like Dubai without a beach – unthinkable, unimaginable, unbelievable. And the two-bite fritters from Villa Beirut are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, akin to the city’s sandy shores. Crunchy on the outside and pillowy-soft in the middle, they’re like little bursts of sunshine and joy. Don’t worry about ordering too many as Jumeirah Beach is only a five-minute walk (waddle) from Villa Beirut: the perfect spot to lie down and digest in cooler weather.
This is a charming Lebanese restaurant with chic and flowery interior – think hanging baskets, white wooden tables and a cosy atmosphere.
The falafel is just one of many delicious dishes cooked with authentic flair. Shrimp hara, fattoush and koussa mtawmeh hit the spot, just don’t fill up on the hearty portions before mains.
We order the chicken shawarma plate, which sees fiery, spicy, moist chicken jostle for room on a dish packed with pita, fries and salad. It’s a takeaway favourite served restaurant-style. And it’s a winner. The mixed grill is similar, only with shish kebab and grilled lamb.
Villa Beirut does hearty, homely food at a fair price for two. Washed down with two of the speciality house health drinks and we can easily sit, unwind and digest here for hours.
The bottom line Top-notch Lebanese fare at this low-key location.