Debs W Remman (meaning pomegranate in Arabic) is situated in the heart of Medina Centrale on The Pearl and brings Lebanese cuisine front and centre for local residents. FACT’s Craig Ferriman went to try it out!

On a lovely summer’s evening, we went to test out the food and service at Debs W Remman,which I’ve heard great things about from Lebanese friends – always an encouraging thing. We dined with Charbel Mhanna who is the CEO of AURA Hospitality & Food Services which run several successful restaurants across the city. A proud Lebanese chef who hasn’t lived in Lebanon since 1990 but who has always felt a little closer to it by cooking great Lebanese dishes for other people. Once a chef and now someone who opens new restaurants – his imprimatur is implanted on the concept through his design of the menu through to its execution by training excellent staff and working on the feel and vibe of the 300-capacity venue. We were immediately made to feel welcome by the friendly staff and from the moment we entered we didn’t feel like we were in a restaurant so much as an oldfashioned Lebanese home in the village. It was decorated with photographs on the walls from halcyon days and the place was set up with a rustic and traditional homely feel with brick walls and high ceilings. It also wasn’t long before we sat down that the table quickly filled with food and it never depleted until we left. First impressions count and when the bread came out, I had a good feeling about the evening.

Everything that they boasted about; freshness and flavour, started to ring true as the bread was warm, puffed up beautifully and tasted really fresh – perfect with their excellent hummous. The fattoush and tabbouleh were refreshing and yummy.

You expect to go and receive a cold mezze in a Lebanese restaurant but my expectations were exceeded and the flavours were just divine. From the vine leaves to the beetroot hummous through to their marvellous moutabel. We also tried what was some of the team’s first kibbeh nayyeh (raw meat) – which if you’ve never tried it before is closest to a steak tartare. An incredibly delicate taste and one that Lebanese food lovers salivate over, especially a good one, and this was a GREAT one!

The chicken liver and the spicy potatoes were two of many standouts in the hot mezze offerings. Mixed grills are really only ever as good as the meat available to cook with. We were told that the meat was acquired fresh from Baladna farm which is the largest livestock farm in the GCC and located 50 kilometres north of Doha. The lamb kofta, chicken taouk and the shawarma were all deeply delicious. Oh and how can we forget the typical mezze and meghli pudding – it’s a rich silky rice dessert with anise and cinnamon. The vision of the chain’s CEO, he told us, was to eventually take the Debs W Remman brand to Lebanon itself. For now, it remains a piece of the rural Levant proudly serving hungry diners in the Gulf with classic dishes from the Bekaa Valley and the snow covered mountains.