Motto-Makan’s Top 10 Moments of 2015

What a year for the Motto-Makan family!  25 chefs, cuisines from all around the world, opening a second space…

How many of these top 10 moments do you remember?

10. Dreaming at Mar Mikhael Car Free Day

Motto took over the Madrid Street tarmac on Car Free Day in April and November.  We have fond memories of the delicious Sri Lankan lunch in the sunshine, and our daydreams of a permanently car-free space… Aah…

car free day

9. Motto’s New Floor

In summer we gave Motto a facelift – or a foot lift – with this beautiful vintage Lebanese tiled floor.  Treated and scrubbed, grouted and loved, the we love our new floor and its perfect imperfections.  While we were at it, we made other improvements too – more space for diners, new tables, and we spruced up our kitchen to make sure it meets the highest standards.


8. Hisham’s Surprisingly Delicious Vintage Brunch

One of our finest regular chefs, Hisham, came up with a stroke of genius for one of his brunch menus in July: a Surprisingly Delicious Vintage Brunch, full of hearty retro flavours with Hisham’s inimitable hipster twist.  It was, as expected, Surprisingly Delicious – and a beautiful day.


7. Beware Of The Bunnies: Blackboard Art at Motto

Motto’s blackboard went from strength to strength this year, with a charming weekly art intervention by members of the team.  Angela’s ‘bunny’ board caught the interest of the Syrian kids selling flowers on the street, and turned into a drawing tutorial.



6. Karim’s Brunch Cocktails

The Motto-Makan team have hidden and wonderful talents.  Did you know that Motto partner Karim is an incredible mixologist?  Two words: jalapeño margaritas.

jalapeno margaritas



5.  Artist In Residence paula roush

Makan and Plan Bey hosted the team’s first ever artist residency, with Portuguese artist paula roush.  Paula stayed at our guest house, Beyt, ate at Motto and Makan, and worked day and night with the Plan Bey team.  The result?  Torn Folded Curled, an exhibition produced in partnership with the Arab Image Foundation.  We had a great time populating Makan with vintage 1940s furniture to match the era of the exhibition.  You can still find Paula’s posters and artist books at Plan Bey.

paula roush

4. Persian Poetry at the Yaldā Festival Dinner

Persian chef Mehirnaz has been one of 2015’s stars, bringing more and more enticing oriental flavours to Motto and Makan.  She helped us celebrate the winter solstice festival of Yaldā with an atmospheric Persian poetry reading, set off perfectly by her luxurious menu and Makan’s beautiful Persian table cloths.


3. Barbara Enters The Scene

Barbara entered our lives one sunny day when she came for lunch at Motto.  Little did we know how much impact she would have!  Barbara inspired us to join the Slow Food movement, helped us design Makan as a foodie space, and cooked sumptuous meals from her many cookbooks.  She’s kept us busy with her boundless energy and inspired us to great things.  We love having her in the family!



2. Nimal’s Best Night Ever

The self-effacing Nimal is our Resident Chef and the backbone of the Motto-Makan operation.  We were delighted to see him top the leader-board of our chefs this year, with his Best Night Ever this autumn.  It was a beautiful evening at Makan with a classic Sri Lankan menu and lots of happy customers.  Nimal is a miracle worker, repeating the magic of his spice mixes again and again in Sri Lankan and Indian meals that leave us stuffed and speechless.  Can’t wait for more miracles in 2016!


1. The Birth Of Makan
We opened Makan on Motto’s birthday as a space for fine food and art.  It was a crazy summer: Beirut was drowning in trash, suffering power cuts, and suffocating in waves of humid heat.  We kept our cool, and developed four major exhibitions at Makan, as well as establishing its shady garden firmly on the Mar Mikhael foodie scene – with much thanks to our regular guest chefs Dima Al-Chaar and Hanane Daoud.  Now it’s hard to imagine life without Makan – proving that art and food work together, with no need for pretension.


What were your favourite moments at Motto and Makan in 2015?  Comment on this blog or on Facebook and we will add your special moments to our year-end review.

Stay tuned for a massive January at Motto-Makan!  Details will be announced on our Facebook pages.  For more details about us and our spaces, contact +96170954057.

One thought on “Motto-Makan’s Top 10 Moments of 2015

  1. Reblogged this on One Room in Beirut and commented:

    I’m a partner in the Motto-Makan operation. Looking back at our Top Ten Moments in 2015 has been a brilliant way to remember a fantastic year for our spaces! Can’t believe we have done so much in twelve short months. And we have big plans for 2016 too – can hardly wait…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s