From Byblos to Docklands: A culinary oasis beckons at Byblos Bar & Restaurant

Get the latest from Beat


From Byblos to Docklands: A culinary oasis beckons at Byblos Bar & Restaurant

Byblos Melbourne
Words by Staff Writer

Strolling along the ancient harbour of Byblos, Lebanon's millennia-old city nestled against the Mediterranean Sea, one is immediately captivated by the remnants of antiquity, the archaeological marvels, and the stunning coastal vistas.

Byblos holds extraordinary historical significance— it was here that the Phoenicians first developed the language you’re reading now, back in the 11th century BC. Yet, amidst the ancient allure, it’s the tantalising cuisine that truly enchants visitors. The renowned flavours of mezze, from velvety hummus to smoky baba ganoush, mingle with the irresistible aromas of wood-fired manakish and sizzling grilled meats emanating from the vibrant eateries lining the streets. Despite the challenges facing this beautiful country, Byblos remains a bustling tourist hotspot.

Comparatively, a walk toward the harbour in Docklands offers a far more subdued experience—save for one gleaming beacon. Byblos Bar & Restaurant stands as a small oasis of Lebanese culinary excellence, momentarily whisking patrons away from the mundane business landscape of Docklands and immersing them in the sights and scents of Byblos, paying homage to the city’s wondrous legacy and its delectable cuisine.

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around Melbourne here.


Upon entering, guests are embraced by a warm and refined ambience, accentuated by a striking curved rock wall at one end and framed by floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the tranquil curve of the Yarra River. Nestle into one of the restaurant’s intimate corners, where plush seating awaits, and be attended to by friendly, knowledgeable staff as the evening sun dances upon the water’s surface.

Byblos has masterfully crafted a unique and irresistible space to savor its grilled delights, inviting patrons to share bowls of exquisite ingredients amongst friends. We had the pleasure of indulging in their new Ramadan menu, featuring a refreshing lentil soup bursting with herbs and tomatoes, accompanied by a trio of dips: luscious baba ganoush, velvety labneh, and some of the finest hummus, adorned with olives—perfect for dipping warm flatbreads.

Every facet of their Ramadan menu is meticulously executed— the rekakat samosas, with their delicate filo pastry and oozing feta and mozzarella cheese, were a delight, as was the lamb sambusek, brimming with sweet onions and pine nuts.

The fattoush, often overlooked, is given the reverence it deserves— a vibrant garden salad teeming with red and green peppers, crisp cucumber, radish, cabbage, fried pita, cherry tomatoes, and a generous dusting of sumac.

The menu caters to all palates, with succulent chicken wings boasting a delightful spice rub and a batata harra potato side, redolent with garlic, chili, and coriander. The lamb and chicken skewers, served with a sublime garlic sauce, leave one utterly satiated.

Yet, it’s imperative to save room for dessert (Helwayat Byblos)—a divine sampling of traditional Lebanese sweets paired with heavenly vanilla bean gelato is a feast for the senses. However, the pièce de résistance is the Wared El Sham (Damascus Rose)—a flaky filo pastry brimming with Lebanese custard, pistachios, and drizzled with rosewater syrup.

Conclude the feast with traditional Lebanese coffee, served in a dallah pot, to aid digestion and stave off the post-prandial lethargy, as you drift off to sleep, dreaming of your next visit to Byblos.