Lebanese cuisine in Chennai!

I have expressed my affection for Lebanese food (or middle eastern in general) before. We used to have it at least once in 2 weeks. Having relocated to Chennai, we were wondering how we are going to keep our fancy going. Priya did some research and found this place called Cedars (on Gandhi Mandapam Road opposite Oriental Bank of Commerce). We went there last night for dinner.

We had moutabal (made out of smoked eggplant), fatoush salad and hummus first. The moutabal was easily as good as the best we have had, extremely flavorful. To top it, we got some fresh warm pita bread straight from the oven. Even in “The Street” in NJ most restaurants serve only store-bought pita bread – only 1 restaurant gives fresh warm pita bread and pita bread served by Cedars is easily the best we have had. The main course was passe.

We saw “Ashta Bil Medjool” on the dessert menu and quicky ordered. It was pretty good but nothing still beats “Ashta Bil Asal” from Vine Valley Cuisine.

Overall it was a great experience. So we inquired about the chef and we were told that there was a Lebanese chef for 2 years and the current chef was trained by him for over 1 year. No wonder the food was so authentic.






  1. Anonymous said February 15, 2006, 12:43 pm:


    Next time we are in Chennai, we will surely check this place out.

    If you are into indo-chinese-singaporean-thai kind of cuisine, check out cascade in Besant Nagar. Divya and I went to this place couple of time while we were in Chennai. First time, we went with Gerry’s family, and the service and food was good enough for us to go there a second time.

    While you are there, do try out their lemon grass or garlic soup. Thai fried noodles was also quite good. Stay away from mee goreng – it was all gooey and not upto par. However, they were kind enough to send out another dish ‘on the house’ once we mentioned how gooey it was. Extremely courteous waiters and excellent service.

    On the more ethnic front, try out Murugan’s idly in besant nagar. People vouch for their ‘poo pola’ idly’s. Food was good but I did not like their service. It is one of those ‘dim sum’ like places, and you can keep the orders coming.


  2. Anonymous said February 16, 2006, 11:04 am:

    Thanks Ganesh. I will check out Cascase and Murugan and write a post.

  3. Anonymous said February 17, 2006, 9:50 am:


    I share your enthusiasm for Lebanese and Middle Eastern food in general.

    This last weekend, I had my first experience with Turkish food at a restaurant called Efe here in the Phoenix area. You would recognize many of the food names on the menu. I found, however, that the Turkish versions of some of them used chili more liberally. That was to my liking and I thing it would also appeal to the Indian palate.

    The belly dancer provided a savory spice for the visual senses as well!

    If you ever visit our development center here in Phoenix, we must make time to take you to Efe.


  4. Anonymous said February 17, 2006, 12:59 pm:

    Thanks Bill. Next time i am in phoenix, i will check Efe out. BTW, the one that serves fresh warm pita bread on “The Street” in NJ is a turkish one called Toro. If you are visiting Teaneck, check it out. I haven’t seen belly dancing in “The Street”. But it is there in a Moroccan restaurant called Marrakesh in Parsippany, NJ.

    Thanks also for stopping by our blog.