Aasrouniye |Byblos Sur Mer

The business of feeding people is the most amazing business in the world.” Jose Andres Puerta

Looking for the perfect place to enjoy sundowners? Love afternoon tea and fancy trying something a little different? Lebanese restaurant, Byblos Sur Mer located at the InterContinental Abu Dhabi has introduced Aasrouniye (High Tea) which offers a combination of the two in the most glamorous setting.

Middle Easterners have had Aasrouniye as their own afternoon ritual for centuries and this age-old tradition has been revived at Byblos Sur Mer with a new speciality menu devised by Executive Chef Dany Kattar.

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The high tea is available from Saturday to Wednesday between 5pm to 7pm at the upper lounge of the hotel’s standalone restaurant, the perfect place and time to enjoy the sunset (especially on the terrace overlooking the marina) with a signature sundowner in hand. I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the launch of this new addition to the Byblos Sur Mer menu, hosted by the hotel’s General Manager Ivor Prestwood.

Much like the mezze offered on the restaurant’s main menu, the high tea features a selection of hot and cold options that encompass traditional Lebanese favourites as well as new flavour combinations for everyone to enjoy. Presentation was on point two with a two-tiered glass plate loaded with the sweet and savoury colourful options. The cold dishes included Tlameh ‘Arabic traditional bread’ with labneh and Zaatar, Basterma ‘air dried beef’ sandwich paired with sun-blushed tomato and summac and Salmon gravlax with summac and sage grissini. The more unusual exotic dragon fruit was paired with halloumi and olives salad and pomegranate molasses served in the hollowed out fruit itself and of course the afternoon tea most universal must have of scones, in this instance a savoury variety flavoured with cumin and coriander seeds.

The hot food includes Kofta and sujok deep-fried Scottish egg topped with labneh and caviar, Kunafa wrapped prawns with honey and molasses dip and Shanklish ‘aged Lebanese cheese’ in katayef dough. Delightful sundowners were sipped, both the cocktail and mocktail variety.

An array of Arabic desserts were served alongside the range of Tchaba speciality teas from an elegant tea trolley. Awamat ‘Arabic donuts’ with kohlrabi molasses, ginger-minted fruit salad, Aish al saraya ‘sugar soaked dough’ topped with clotted cream and orange blossom and rosewater macarons filled at our table with mouhalabiyah were perfect for the sweet-toothed among us.

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Watch the sun go down and treat your taste buds to a flavoursome Lebanese style Aasrouniye at the award winning Byblos Sur Mer, a fantastic addition to the ever-growing afternoon tea scene in the capital.

Byblos Sur Mer

Location: Intercontinental Abu Dhabi

Telephone: 02 666 6888

Website: www.intercontinental.com

Price: AED 295++ for two guests sharing a platter. Sundowners can be ordered from the menu as an additional extra.

InterContinental Abu Dhabi’s Byblos Sur Mer pairs traditional Lebanese cuisine with a modern take on a traditional Phoenician citadel, offering a stylish interior in an exclusive waterfront setting. Read more about Byblos Sur Mer in my previous post here

I was invited to review the Aasrouniye but all the views are all my own. Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2015. All rights reserved. First photo used courtesy of InterContinental Abu Dhabi