I came across this tiny restaurant, café and gathering spot just last week, when I was asking around if there were any African restaurants in Beirut, and a Sudanese colleague of mine, to my surprise, told me about this spot! I was indeed shocked and at the same time excited to try it, as it was something completely different, especially since there are not that many African food restaurants in Beirut. The restaurant’s name, Mataam Al Sudan- Sahretna translates to Sudan Restaurant – Our Night Gatherings.
Mohanad, the owner, is a Sudanese national who has lived in Beirut for many years and who decided to start Mataam Al Sudan – Sahretna in early 2019 to gather all Sudanese and Ethiopians living in Lebanon in one spot. Since Lebanon has a high rate of migrant workers and nationals from Sudan and Ethiopia, this spot seemed perfect for their community to eat, chill and talk together.
I encourage travelers coming to Beirut to try this out since it gives you the sense of what life is for the Sudanese and Ethiopians here. Plus, you get to meet a lot of great people with interesting stories gathering around for shisha at nighttime! It is a great way to talk with people, meet the Sudanese/Ethiopian community of Lebanon and to have a taste of their food!
I would also recommend their salad and their dish called Al sharmout, which is actually a swear word in Arabic, haha!