Mireille and Yasmina Hayek
What makes it special? As the quintessential Lebanese dining experience, Em Sherif offers guests a taste of traditional home cooking in a truly opulent setting. Glittering chandeliers, trickling water fountains and live Arabic music perfectly complement the endemic produce from across the country.
A family affair: Self-taught chef and restaurateur Mireille Hayek established Em Sherif after discovering a love of cooking for her family. The restaurant is named after her son (the moniker means ‘mother of Sherif’), and her daughter Yasmina leads the culinary charge as executive chef. Before steering the mothership, Yasmina studied at the world-renowned Institut Paul Bocuse in Lyon.
Any signature dishes? Have the choice taken out of your hands and opt for the set menu, comprising a marathon of 30 dishes designed for the table to share. Look out for the kibbeh nayyeh, a Lebanese beef tartare; rkakat mousakhan of pulled chicken, sumac, onion rolls, cucumber and mint yoghurt; and the moreish atayef bouza achta dessert: a Lebanese pancake stuffed with clotted cream ice cream.
Trophy cabinet: Chef Yasmina Hayek’s creative cuisine is coupled with her mother and restaurateur Mireille Hayek’s infallible service. The triumphant combination earns the restaurant the coveted Art of Hospitality Award 2023.
Global expansion: Since its powerhouse success in Beirut, the Em Sherif brand has expanded to the region’s major cities, including Riyadh, Doha, Damascus, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. In 2022, Em Sherif’s first opening in Europe at London’s prestigious Harrods department store was met with widespread acclaim.