Majdoline : Modern Lebanese cuisine and stellar appetizers

majdoline restaurant
(Photos: Zeid Odeh / Jordan News)
Virgo season is finally upon us, meaning it was time for me to celebrate. In my family, it is tradition for the birthday person to choose where they want to eat. As it was my birthday, I preferred a place I had been craving for a while, Majdoline.اضافة اعلان

Multiple pictures have been circulating all over social media regarding this restaurant, and one that had especially caught my attention was their cotton candy dessert.

Majdoline is a modern Lebanese cuisine restaurant located in the Third Circle area. It serves traditional Arabic dishes with a twist. The Lebanese kitchen is generally comprised of multiple family-style shared dishes with a variety of cold appetizers, hot appetizers, grilled selections, and desserts.

We reserved a table on Wednesday evening, and it was refreshing to see that the place was alive and pretty full for a weekday — even though I am not usually a fan of crowded places. The crowd was mainly families and large parties.

The restaurant is a redesigned old Ammani-style building with a stone exterior, and the tables are pretty classic, maybe even too traditional for a modern Lebanese-style restaurant.

If we are discussing implementing the vision of the restaurant (Modern Lebanese) in every detail, I would suggest leaving behind the old-style napkin folding on the plate and going with something more elegant and simple.

I would also not put appetizer and main course cutlery on the table. Leaving the appetizer cutlery on the table initially and placing the main course cutlery just before serving the main course would do fine, especially since they are already changing the plates for the main course.

Also, I would definitely change the fully black-suited server’s uniform and go with something a little more modern, possibly a nice shirt and a chic apron — practical and easy on the eyes.

We were served the moment we sat down with some sliced tomatoes with garlic aioli and sumac. The tomatoes were unevenly sliced, but they tasted pretty good and earthy. I was a little worried that starting the dinner with garlic would be a bad idea, but thankfully it was not an overpowering taste.

We ordered multiple cold appetizers, including the rocca salad with tresse cheese, tabbouleh, shanklish, and kubbeh niyeh, which is similar to beef tartar but with a finer minced beef that is spreadable.

The cold appetizers were spot on regarding the quantity of dressing and ingredients on the plate. The presentation was fairly simple, but the table’s servers helped you by serving every single dish on the table onto your plate.

We ordered spicy potatoes, grilled cheese raqaeq, and Amaryiet Ras Asfour for the hot appetizers. The potatoes were crispy and nicely seasoned, and the grilled cheese raqaeq were simple with their cheesy and crisp flavor.

The hot appetizer section star was the Amaryiet Ras Asfour (bulgur topped with cubed beef, yogurt, and molasses). I would definitely go back just for this dish alone. The sweetness of the molasses with the creaminess of the yogurt went very well with the beef flavor and the bulgur at the bottom.

For the main course, we ordered Majdoline Shish Tawook and the Shawarma Cake. Shish tawook is basically chicken cubes that are chargrilled. Ar Majdoline, serve’s them with a house special sauce and cheese. The sauce and the cheese tasted great, and the portion of the chicken was great as a main course. However, the chicken was a little overcooked and on the dry side.

The Shawarma Cake, an interesting twist on shawarma, was Angus beef cubes with onions and herbs, all rolled in bread that looks like a Swiss roll. The cake log is sliced at the table and served in individual portions to everyone.

In terms of creativity, I must say that it is well thought out, especially presentation and serving. For the execution and flavor, I would probably say no thank you. The meat was chewy, and the liquid from the meat made the bread so soggy that it was partially falling apart and unpleasant to eat.

As much as I wanted to try out their cotton candy dessert, we brought in the dessert for my birthday. So If I come back for the hot appetizer item, I would  also definitely try that dessert.

All in all, the appetizers were a highlight during this experience, and the main course was less impressive and needed to be tweaked a little bit.

The service was pretty friendly and hospitable, yet still old school if we wanted to be technical on implementing the “modern” vision.

If you are with family or have a large group to entertain for a good bite, I would recommend going there with a little consideration on what to order. The value for money can be a little on the lower side, but the appetizers are worth it.

Read more Good Food
Jordan News