A Michelin encounter with Danny Kattar, general manager of MBT Restaurant Management

A Michelin encounter with Danny Kattar, general manager of MBT Restaurant Management

Michelin Guide Abu Dhabi has recognized MBT Restaurant Management’s restaurant in its inaugural edition of the MICHELIN Guide Abu Dhabi. We sat with general manager Danny Kattar to discover the formula for success and what he has planned for the future.

How would you describe 2022 for MBT?
It was a great year for us despite the pandemic and competition in the market. Our restaurants are still considered the best in the capital for Lebanese food. The culinary team of Beirut Sur Mer and Grand Beirut remain committed to delivering authentic Lebanese cuisine to guests.

In your opinion, what makes a F&B concept successful?
It has been around 18 months since we opened Beirut Sur Mer Abu Dhabi, and we launched Grand Beirut Abu Dhabi a year ago. We wanted both concepts to have a European feel, so we incorporated floral and modern touches rather than classical Lebanese tablecloths and décor. We also wanted to offer great food and an array of side dishes. At Beirut Sur Mer, the crab moutabbal, halawet el jibin with pistachio baklawa and amarena cherry are all created in front of our guests, at their table. Grand Beirut has a fully opened kitchen with live cooking stations; in fact, our kunafa station is trending on social media.

What inspires you when gearing up toward launching a new concept?
It is difficult to claim that a concept is created from nothing; most concepts stem from others, but each has a unique twist. I personally look out for what’s trending and take it to the next level. We are in the business of creating experiences. It is not enough to have a beautiful venue only or simply delicious food; the concept must blend with the food to create an exceptional experience. We try to pivot from what is traditional and present things in a new way.

What’s coming up next?
We are planning to open Grand Beirut soon in Al Qana, Abu Dhabi, in March 2023.


The Michelin Guide Abu Dhabi 2023
Abu Dhabi’s restaurants make their debut in the Michelin Guide with a selection of 42 restaurants in the capital of the United Arab Emirates, covering 16 cuisine types. Three restaurants received one Michelin star in Abu Dhabi (99 Sushi Bar, Hakkasan Abu Dhabi  and Talea by Antonio Guida), four restaurants were awarded a Bib Gourmand (Almayass, Beirut Sur Mer, Otoro and Tazal) and three were awarded Michelin Guide Special Awards (service award: Rawad Hamdan and team, Restaurant Li Beirut; sommelier award: Marlon Nuque, Zuma Restaurant; and young chef award: Luigi Stinga, Restaurant Talea by Antonio Guida).

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About author

Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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