Beirut, B/F, Ploenchit Center, Sukhumvit Soi 2, Bangkok, Thailand
Nearest Train:MRT Sukhumvit
Opening Hours:daily noon-midnight
Price Range:BB - BBB
That the homey Beirut has grown from having locations in Sukhumvit and Silom to an outlet at Bumrungrad Hospital, plus another on its way on Thong Lor, is a testament to its long-standing popularity. It has been our Lebanese mainstay for years, and while we worry about its potentially dwindling street cred, it’s still one of the few solid options outside of Nana for affordable, delicious Lebanese food. It has its problems, yes: the pita bread, which comes in hot plastic bags, can be a little dry and tough sometimes. (We suggest ordering a nan bread instead, which costs more, but is fresh from the oven.) But the food here is comforting and consistent, starting with the welcome plate of pickles, cucumbers and more-ish dipping sauces. The falafel (B160) are crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside, with a yummy crust of sesame seeds on top. Pair one or two with their melt-your-tongue-off-strong garlic mousse accompaniment (B60 for extra) and some cucumbers, and you have a perfect meal right there. The shawarma, too, (B260 for mixed platter) is nicely spiced but also a touch dry, which we like and which goes great with their tahini sauce. Other than the usual standards, like hummus (B100), labneh (strained yogurt, B120) and tabouleh (B120), the expansive menu has also introduced us to some more exciting dishes, like the delightfully textured mankoushe (B100): a kind of Lebanese pizza made from moist pita bread which at Beirut comes topped with dried thyme, drizzled with olive oil and sesame seeds. For dessert, we love the syrupy, nutty walnut bakhlava (B60 per piece), which, when it’s not a little stale, is really lovely. Also try the fragrant nammoura (a crumbly, rose-water enhanced semolina cake, B50). Another big draw to Beirut are the princely combo options. For B520, you can have small portions of up to six dishes with pita bread, enough for three or four people, and for B640, you can have eight. Beirut does get stuff wrong sometimes, and the service is far from smiling and efficient, but with these prices and their extensive menu, we don’t see ourselves changing allegiances any time soon.