From the serene village of Bkaakafra, to the busy streets of London, passing by the large green landscape in Scotland off to Kyoto’s imperial castles and Buddhist temples and Uruguay’s wild life; a Star War’s fan landed back on the 3rd floor of Maison M in Naccache.
Charbel Makhlouf, the new blood soaking in all the experience from his grandfather to marry it with his own as well as his studies in Management and Consumer behavior to transform it into a new concept and approach to the Japanese – American cuisine and educate our palates to accept and enjoy it!
Steakbarshushi: as simple as you can imagine, the name reflects what the outlet is serving: Steak, Sushi and a bar to mingle and enjoy a drink.
Knowing me, I used to be skeptical when a restaurant claims serving sushi and something else, but boy I was wrong!
Be ready to surrender to the experience, you even sign a paper to do that! When the elevator door opens, leave all you presumptions behind and you will not regret it.
A serene environment that surprisingly mixes even the steak and sushi atmosphere in the decoration and in a very subtle way.
Think wooden tables roughly cut each in a unique shape, homey feeling of different rustic chairs and cutlery, a green wall with a zen mood near a Japanese inspired seating, a rough rustic wooden bar, and cherry on the cake, homegrown peppers and basil among other aromatic plants and edible flowers.
A smooth lighting adds to the warmth of the place, and the music compliments the ambiance perfectly.
Now that your eyes and your mind are set free, comes the turn of the palate.
I was lucky to share my meal with Charbel, who introduced me to every item of the menu we tasted; grateful as ever I signed the paper and the journey started.
- Raunchy mushrooms: homegrown Portobello soaking in miso herb dressing, rosemary, lemon zest, salt and black pepper: earthy flavors, I loved it
- Yakitoris gently decorated with edible flowers and drizzled each with their marinating sauce:
- Cheezy salmon: salmon stuffed with brie and bresaola grilled with eggplants: how balanced the mix was not to masque the taste of salmon, Chef you are a genius!
- Beef chili and beef miso: with slices of mushrooms in the latter: as if the meat was not juicy enough to add those mouth-watering sauces and the flavors bursting in your mouth
- Crispy onion jalapenos: house smoked salmon topped with buffalo mozzarella and covered with crispy onions, jalapeno and a Japanese spicy sauce to fire those palates with every bite.
- Tuna salmon explosion: with a Japanese cucumber and trust me you will notice the difference and again to cherish that miso homemade sauce that is just enhancing every flavor
- Spicy crab: yes the king crab meat, all dense, mixed with crispy wasabi and a side of flaming hot grilled green pepper
- Othamleyeh shrimp: with every bite you will taste distinct flavors in euphoric way: pineapples, rice, shrimps, othamaleyi and teryaki sauce: who thought this tiny wrap can be that powerful
- King salad: king crab over a bed of purslane, Mexican avocados and a light dressing
And now things got serious, the show went on with the steak, just to note that Charbel picks the veal and pampers them in his farm, where also many of the produce he uses are grown.
- Luscious veal: served by Charbel himself where he cuts the cutlets and drizzles them with a light herby sauce, permission slip to eat using your hands!
- Filet gourmet: also comes with a show! flaming the pieces to tickle the palate! A béarnaise sauce on the side to compliment the flavors.
- Mac ‘N’ cheese for the baby in you! with a touch of truffle oil.
La finale signed by the virgin! Four layers of génoise, topped with praliné, dark chocolate and white cheese and chocolate infused with coconut and mint topped with a crunchy chocolate piece and served with a side of mint foam and three pieces of dark chocolate and dried fruits and nuts. Can not think of a better note to end this journey.
The staff and the music add to the zen attitude. As if everything conspired to make you surrender. But most of all, Charbel, I cannot thank you enough for this experience and one can learn a lot from discussing with you. However what I loved the most is the passion you put in this and that is what makes the difference.
Coming back for sure, for more. Who can deny the opportunity of time travel!