The first Mayrig (“mother” in Armenian) opened its doors in 2003 in Beirut has been in business for 11 years now. They recently opened another branch in Dubai and are soon expanding to Riyadh. In Beirut they are located in the popular Gemayzeh quarter, a district that is typified by the traditional Lebanese heritage in a modern charming setting that still evokes Beirut’s glory days. Thus Mayrig’s location was chosen in an ancient stone house in this district to recreate their grandmother’s beautiful stone house by the sea; a warm, cozy and modern setup, to gather locals and tourists to experience the exquisite taste of homemade authentic Armenian food.
When we asked owner Serge where he gets his inspiration for the menu he said: “All of the recipes are inspired by our grandmother’s recipe book and we often had to remake things based on our mothers’ memories of those dishes. We are also constantly striving to evolve and introduce new recipes, based on our culture’s traditional cuisine that has always been passed down from one generation to the next and constantly adapting the traditional home-like atmosphere to match the highest industry standards.”
We loved Mayrig. It was the first restaurant we visited in Beirut and we felt at home straight away. We were invited to try a wide array of foods which made for a very nice introduction to Armenian cuisine. Salads that we tried included Itch, the Armenian version of the Lebanese classic parsley salad Tabbouleh, and an Olive and Eggplant salad all of which were very refreshing and full of flavour. We tried another classic Armenian dish called Mante, which is beautifully presented in a shallow metal dish. Little pieces of dough with a meat filling are expertly arranged in the dish and tomato sauce and yoghurt are poured over the top.
For dessert we tried a different take on the Lebanese Maamoul (pastry filled with a date paste). The Armenian Banirov Maamoul is filled with a hot cheese with a very mild flavour, and sugar syrup is poured over the top to give it sweetness. This little dish is really a combination of Lebanese maamoul and knefe (mild cheese that the Lebanese enjoy with a bagel-like bread for breakfast). We also tried two different types of ice cream; rose water with Turkish delight and Ashta. Both were really delicious and unlike anything we have tasted before.
What we liked:
+ cosy atmosphere
+ friendly service
+ their ice cream is amazing
What we disliked:
– a bit too much spice (pepper) in some dishes
282 Pasteur Street, Mansour Building
Phone/ fax: +961 157 21 21
Mobile: +961 3 228 227
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