Last weekend High Street Phoenix (Lower Parel) saw the launch of a new eatery Byblos Food & Wine by the sister duo Vidhi & Nidhi Behl. Chef Nidhi Behl, a graduate from Boston University, and Head of operations Vidhi Behl, with experience in retail business management aspire to make Byblos an eatery that offers fresh, additive free food which is both organic and locally produced.
Byblos Food & Wine offers a handcrafted menu and a large patisserie spread. Chef Nidhi who has experience with Arab inspired dishes and breads, has taken the "origins of Levant food, borrowed a little from the Africas and turned the cuisine on its head". Chef's bread uses only 4 ingredients; flour, water, wild yeast and salt, with no additional leaveners or chemicals, in the form of baguettes and traditional Italian “Music sheet” bread (a thin cracker-like bread). Try them with fresh local and house made cheeses accompanied with a scallion & mozzarella savoury cake and house made jalapeño & cider vinegar jam.
The sisters aim to create a "fun, edgy restaurant with a trendy and sleek atmosphere, serving playful yet serious food, in elegant slate plating". Be prepared to engage all your senses not just your taste buds when visiting the restaurant. You might be greeted by a server carrying an innocuous seeming candle in one hand and a bread basket in the other. As he lights the candle you will discover that the candle is in fact edible; the wick is made from soya and the candle itself is a dip for the housemate bread.
For the non vegetarians, Byblos serves a classic tandoori chicken with an African accent: African Berber Spiced Tandoori Chicken, Peri Peri Rock Corn with Bacon Dust, Jalapeno Oil Prawns, Whiskey & Green Harissa Chicken with Porcini Mushroom Dust, Tahini & Turkish Tarator Hammour (Reef Cod) and organic baby Lamb Shawrama.
For the vegetarians, dishes like Umami-rich Hay-smoked Mushroom in an African Biryani await. Try the savoury Mustard and Sriracha Ice cream that crowns a traditional Turkish eggplant dish or the fried jalapeño popper sandwich, Caponata salad with Labneh Mousse & Olive Dust.
Street food dishes included in the menu are baby lamb Arab Street Mutabbaq and a twist on Doubles ( from Trinidad and Tobago), which is a sandwich made with flat fried bread filled with Channa (curried chick peas). The Byblos version consists of Saj Bread (traditional Levant flatbread) is made into a taco shaped crisp bread and filled with chickpeas or spiced lamb and topped with a fresh labneh- like cheese infused with mint.
Desserts include the the traditional ubiquitous Ganache Cake turned in to a luxurious Chocolate Mink, an earl grey infused version. There is an unbirthday cake straight from 'Alice in Wonderland', with 5 types of vanilla, creme brûlée filling and a candle to celebrate everyday.