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Byblos: Because the eye eats before the mouth.

Byblos is the Greek name of the Lebanese city, Jubail. It is also a well-known fine dining Lebanese restaurant in Jeddah under the Leylaty Group of Restaurants.

It is located in Al-Hamra Street in a massive building, which houses two other Leylaty restaurants: Bubbles, which is an international cuisine restaurant, and Bon Bon, which offers luxury desserts. Byblos is situated on the left wing of the building and the interiors are a mix between ancient Andalusian and European designs and the colors mostly comprise light shades, such as, white, beige and gold.

The restaurant has four different seating areas, one looks over the main hall, a second that is square shaped and has a fountain in the center, a third that is to the right of the corridor and a fourth section that is the main restaurant. Overall, Byblos has a very luxurious setting and ambience. The restaurant usually has the famous Lebanese singer Fayrooz's music playing in the background and has friendly waiters to serve diners.

Byblos can seat 326 diners at once. It has square tables and a mix of velvet, satin beige and lavish gold chairs and sofas. The main seating area looks over the Al-Hamra Street and Jeddah Corniche.

Byblos' food presentations are known to be the best in town as its offers its diners tempting and mouth-watering dishes that feed the eyes before the mouth. Its Ramadan menu varies and offers four courses starting with appetizers that are already placed on the table before the call of iftar. Appetizer items include stuffed vine leaves with rice, hummus, baleela (warm chickpeas with spices), hot fried potatoes with chili and garlic, Lebanese foul, baba ganoush (mashed eggplant with vegetables and olive oil), fattoush salad and mixed baked goods, which include beef and cheese samosas, spring rolls and much more.

Diners have a choice between chicken cream soup and lentil soup, which is highly recommended.

In its main dish menu, Byblos offers its diners a Ramadan daily set menu consisting of an authentic Lebanese dish every day and a plate of mixed grilled chicken and beef. The main dish varies everyday: Saturday: Daoud Basha with vermicelli rice or roasted chicken and potato with garlic sauce Sunday: Sayadieh with najel or frikeh with chicken Monday: Roasted oriental lamb with rice or kofta and baked potato with roasted tomato sauce Tuesday: Kebbeh arnabieh or koussa and eggplant ablama Wednesday: Vine leaves and marrows with cutlets or green beans with lamb leg stew and vermicelli rice Thursday: Mouloukhieh with chicken and lamb or kebbeh chich barak Friday: Moghrabieh with mawzat and chicken or okra stew with lamb chunks and vermicelli rice Byblos offers a plate of mixed traditional Arabic desserts that include two kinds of basboosa and puff pastry stuffed with cream cheese. Also on offer are mahalabeyya and gamar eldeen served in small glasses and cubes of water melon and melon.

There is a refillable juice station that includes different choices of jellab, which is a rose infused date juice, gamar eldeen and sharab ward, which is also a rose flavored drink.

Byblos is usually fully booked and so booking a table in advance is highly recommended. The restaurant is available for private functions with a seating capacity of 130 seats on its ground floor.

Ramadan hours: 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. to 3:30 a.m.

Expect to pay: SR198 for iftar

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Date:Aug 8, 2012
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