Sunday, October 9, 2011

Why Wait for Sunday Gatherings - Souk El Tayeb, Authentic Lebanese Food in the Heart of Beirut!

A lot of us long for Sundays to have those authentic gatherings with our extended families, around a table rich in traditional Lebanese food, from tabboule, fattoush, hummus, home-made mana’ich, to kebbe, grilled meats and Lebanese sweets; especially with brilliant cooks like our moms and tetas!

Food is indeed a very important part of our daily lives, better yet; food constitutes a crucial part of our identity and heritage! So what about a place, cozy and authentic, that prepares your Sunday lunches every day?  This is what Tawlet is all about!

On Saturday 1st of October, Cynthia from Strawberry Blu, my friend, dietitian, food scientist and amazing blogger decided to visit Tawlet, located in Mar Mechael street in Gemmayze, Lebanon! And what an amazingly delicious experience it was! We had lunch and a casual chit chat with Mr. Kamal Mouzawak, chef, writer and founder of Souk el Tayeb- Tawlet, and here’s how it went…

Tawlet Overview
Tawlet (Arabic for Table) is a farmer’s kitchen that simply revolves around “Shou tabkha el mama el yom?” (English “What’s mom cooking today?”). Each day, different food producers, cooks and also well known chefs come from all over the country to prepare traditional Lebanese home-made food from their own region or village.
The Menu
Visitors can serve themselves food buffet-style from a menu that varies daily, depending on the regional specialty for that specific day.
Tawlet's open buffet
You can definitely find foods that you are familiar with, but what is most exciting are those foods that are unique to every region of Lebanon! Such as Bemye bi debess el remmen (Okra with pomegranate molasses) from Jezzine, Koussa bel zet (Zucchini in oil) from Maaser El Chouf and Kebbe arnabiye (Kebbe with sesame paste and sour orange juice) from Kfaratra!

You can have some lemonade, jellab, arak or wine while the water is free to pour some from the traditional “bri2” (which is a rounded glass bottle with a tight neck and a nozzle from which you can pour water, mainly found at our granny’s!)
Tawlet uses preservative & chemical-free (products) produce in all the foods prepared! That’s why you don’t find any place for carbonated beverages, such as cokes and sodas, for they are not part of our cuisine, right? As for dessert, you can find the finest fruits, fruit salad, as well as Arabic sweets such as knefe, so we definitely had some! 

Delicious fruit, knefe, cakes and Lebanese sweets!
To wrap up, the menu is full of delicious authentic Lebanese dishes that you don’t get to have every day and which you can actually check weekly on facebook!

Tawlet's Environment
The place's interior is earthy, green and warm! The chairs and tables are wooden with plants and flowers all over the, might I add, smoking-free dining area. You can find meticulously arranged bri2 stand, a beautifully arranged Lebanese wine collection as well as a stand for various home-made Lebanese mouneh (pickled and preserved produce and pantry). Moreover, what I loved is that the kitchen is right there in front of your eyes! Whatever food is being prepared, heated or cooked is out there for all of the visitors to see!

Beautifully arranged wine collection
Warm, green and homey!
Maya Zankoul's illustrations
decorating one of Tawlet's walls
Tawlet under the Umbrella of Souk El Tayeb
Tawlet's kitchen actually falls under Souk El Tayeb (Tayeb meaning tastes good/delicious) that includes a farmer's market, wine tasting classes, cooking workshops, food feasts and school programs! Cynthia and I will make sure to visit this market very soon in Biel (which opens every Saturday in Biel from 9 am till 2 pm) to check their mouneh, pastries, sweets, dairy products, and their fresh, local and organic fruit and vegetables.

Kamal Mouzawak is doing his share of preserving our Lebanese culture and traditional cuisine by supporting local farmers, organic and fresh produce and by focusing on the importance of our Lebanese character and identity! So what are we doing to preserve our culture?

Tawlet Contact Details
Opening hours:
Monday to Saturday: 1 pm - 4 pm
Cynthia (right) and I (left)
enjoying Tawlet's kitchen
At night, it is open for private dinners and exhibitions
Price range:
  • "Producer's buffet" and "Saturday's Souk Brunch": 27 USD $
  • "Plate du jour": 10 USD $
Phone number: 01-448 129
Address: Beirut, Sector 79 -  Naher Street #12 (Jisr el- hadeed), Ground floor facing Spoiler center, Beirut, Lebanon
*Photos courtesy of Paty M's Nutrition World and Strawberry Blu.
Strawberry Blu's similar post about Tawlet [here].


  1. This look very delicious!

  2. yay eno sar bade tomates w concombres men tene photo, j'ai bien aime paty!

  3. oh la laaa is this nammoura i see next to the fruits?

  4. I had no idea there was such a place in beirut, definitely worth trying

  5. very nicely written girls!

  6. looks so delicious, surely my hubby will love it.