Ok, so I’ll admit. I was a little skeptical of Cafe Hamra when I first saw it. I mean, did Hamra really need another restaurant? But after giving it a try for the first time last Sunday, I’m happy with the new addition to the neighborhood!
The first thing you notice when you walk in, is how large and spacious it is..something you don’t find very often in Hamra..or in Lebanon for that matter..Don’t get me wrong, I love the intimacy of places like Ferdinand and Neighbors..but I’ve always been one for large open spaces and high ceilings..
I want to say that the restaurant almost reminds me of cafeteria style dining,,but in a good way. It just feels so relaxed… The seating is set up in such a way that you can choose either to sit on the soft, cushy couches, or on regular chairs – for those of you who like to sit up straight and not slouch!..but for me, it was no contest.. Soft couches are where it’s at!
After parking my booty on the couch, I noticed the graffiti map of Hamra on the ceiling..which I probably should have studied more as I still, after 10 months, don’t know the street names in Hamra..
I have to say, I really appreciated how much time and effort was put into every aspect of Cafe Hamra..From the graffitied ceiling, to the murals on the walls (see below), to the innumerable amount of both vintage and pop culture elements showcased all through the restaurant, to the uniforms, and the tableware..everything was on point!. I have to give it up to the visionary mastermind behind it all. Props to you whoever you are!
I left it up to my friend to order, and she was feeling particularly Asian that day it seems..so we had Shrimp Spring Rolls, Fresh Summer Rolls, and Coconut chicken curry.. (oh, AND a chocolate milkshake AND fries AND desert..fatties, I know! But we’ll talk about the desert later)..Anyhow, all of this to say that everything was superb!
There is one thing I have to comment on though, and that’s the sheer amount of servers that were on shift. I mean, I understand that staff is cheap in Lebanon, and that the restaurant had only been open two days.. aaaand that it was still under “soft opening”..but still..did they have to tell all of their employees to come to work that day? I think for the first time since I’ve been in Lebanon the servers were actually TOO attentive! I should probably stop complaining, as good service is what I’ve been asking for all of this time..
Naturally, I sat in the non-smoking section..and I just had to take a picture of this..The smoking and non-smoking sections are actually partitioned off..like with actual wood and glass! Surprising, no? At Cafe Hamra it’s not just a matter of putting us (the minority of non-smokers in Lebanon) in a small corner of their restaurant..but they actually give us our own section! That’s a first.
I took a couple of pictures to show you, my dear readers, what the food looked like..but when I was choosing which ones to include in this post..the desert stole the showwwww.. When it came time to order desert, my friend and I were in a quandary about which one to order..but we finally settled on the bread pudding..and even though it takes about 10-15 minutes to make it’s sure worth the waiiiiit! 🙂
The outside garden is due to be open soon..and I think it’s the perfect place to hold our next tweet up, what do you guys say?