Here’s the hottest find in the city for authentic Lebanese cuisine. Visit Zizo in Connaught Place and explore the refined cuisine that is as intricate in its flavours as the inter-weaving of cultures that influences it. Meet Fouad Abdel Malak, the CEO of Zizo and find out what he thinks makes his restaurant stand out.
Fouad Abdel Malak: Basically I found out that there are no really good Lebanese restaurants in India and I thought how amazing would it be to bring something authentic from Lebanon to India.
Fouad Abdel Malak is the CEO of the authentic Lebanese restaurant Zizo, located in Connaught Place, New Delhi. He talks of his commitment to the myriad flavours of his homeland and the unique nuances of his eatery in the capital.
Fouad Abdel Malak: I come from a village it’s called Abadieh, it’s about 20 minutes from Beirut and it’s all green and there we eat great food everyday! It’s organic, its healthy, its nutritious and everything is picked from the garden so I thought how great it would be to offer the same thing to people in India. We’ve brought together like unique things like Mulberry juice which doesn’t exist here. Organic mulberry juice, we brought together Fatte which is a yoghurt with chick peas and a bed of crispy bread and we have some good grills and some very very traditional foods like Hummus but done the proper way!
The team at Zizo believes in establishing customer relationships which go beyond just a hospitable environment. It’s almost like they are brand ambassadors of a beautiful culture defined by its warmth, vibrancy and a certain indescribable elegance.
Fouad Abdel Malak: We are not trying just to make money, we want to make friends and that’s what is really important to Zizo. It’s about making friends and introducing people to the beautiful culture of Lebanese cuisine and beautiful habits of hospitality that we are famous for in Lebanon and the great healthy food we bring to India is something that I hope people will appreciate.
Carving the restaurant interior into four different sections, Fouad explains how the restaurant setup is a like a journey with different facets that cater to diverse customer preferences. The one theme that runs in common is a delectable Lebanese experience accentuated by a rich and varied burst of flavours.
Fouad Abdel Malak: I wanted this place to be like a journey. And every area to represent a different facet of that journey. When you come here, you feel like you’ve gone to Lebanon. We’ve got books; we have movie nights on Tuesdays where we bring down the screen. We have documentaries about Lebanon; we have pickles the way we make in Lebanon – the same way, the same taste. We have the same way of making traditional Pita bread which kind of inflates and it’s very very fresh.
And here’s a little insight on the specialties at the restaurant from the horse’s mouth.
Fouad Abdel Malak: I think we have the best hummus in India by far and it’s not an easy thing to make good hummus and I would like you to know that our hummus which chef Dany with Chef Maroun sells for 20 Euros in Monaco, and here it sells for around 250 rupees. So I think what we tried to do is we tried to get that top level food here. And something else which is very unique is the Man’oushe, it’s the Lebanese flat bread pizza, which has various toppings and is very typical of Lebanons street food. And the last thing I would like to talk about is the guest favoured – Falafel. We went to a crazy length to get the Falafel as good as the best places in Lebanon.
Amongst the specialties, Fouad believes that the ‘Lebanese leg of lamb’ truly stands apart and is a must-try at Zizo.
Fouad Abdel Malak: We have a Lebanese leg of lamb, we call it Oriental leg of lamb or the King’s feast. It’s a leg of lamb and .it’s cooked to perfection on a bed of rice with some Arabic nuts and a peppery Lebanese sauce which is very famous in Lebanon and it is a really unique dish.
Where: Connaught Place, K 18,22, Connaught Place, New Delhi & M 23, 1st Floor, Greater Kailash (GK) 1, New Delhi
Must Try: Lebanese leg of lamb, Man’oushe, Falafel and Traditional hummus with Tahini
Cost for two: Rs 1300 (Approx)
Opening hours: 11AM to 11PM
Outdoor Seating: No
Serves Alcohol: In Greater Kailash – Yes
In Connaught Place – License Awaited