At Bekka, labneh is served with triangles of soft pita, or you can scoop it up with some of the fried, spice-dusted pita delivered to every table on arrival – no charge. Vinegary pickled vegetables are complimentary too.
The restaurant experience is all about mezze. Alongside homemade falafel, share battata harra (fried potatoes with garlic, coriander and chilli), grilled barramundi with fattoush, makaneek (spiced beef and lamb sausages) and fried cauliflower with tahini. The moujadara, a Lebanese dish of lentils, rice and fried onion, has been tuned into the filling for croquettes.
To drink there is lemonada (house-made lemonade with rosewater); pomegranate soda; strong, dark Lebanese coffee; and wine from Chateau Musar, a winery established in 1930 in Ghazir, north of Beirut.
For dessert, there’s kanafeh, an oven-baked cheese with kataifi (shredded pastry) and rosewater syrup; baklava with vanilla-bean ice-cream; and muhallebi, a milk custard with berries and orange-blossom syrup.
Camel-saddle-style seating, arabesque tiles and large, leafy pot plants are inspired by the contrasting desert, mountains and lush greenery of the Lebanese landscape. Outside, planter boxes of oregano, mint and rosemary double as ingredients.