Bite To The Beat

One of the newest restaurants in Adliya’s swanky Block 338 is ÖDN (pronounced oh-dun). Apple Sharma headed to this hot little musical haunt for an evening of good food and great vibes.

In the bustling heart of Block 338’s dining district lies ÖDN (Open Doors to Nostalgia), a new culinary gem and the brainchild of artist and international music producer, Walid Al Massih. Paying tribute to Beirut’s music scene of a bygone era, this classy eatery blends the intimacy of a jazz club with the laid-back charm of a pub.

As we stepped into ÖDN’s cosy al fresco area and made our way inside, we were welcomed by the General Manager, Marinos Dine, and Talent Lead and Public Relations Manager, Hülya Ahmed. Their genuine, warm hospitality set the tone for the evening with the entire staff following suit.

Taking in the surroundings, we could see Walid’s passion for music evident in every corner of the restaurant. ÖDN has an intimate setting featuring a small centre stage with a green curtain backdrop serving as its focal point. Purple and blue light projections on either side highlight framed photos of iconic celebrities. Black beams and metal frames run across the restaurant’s ceiling, imparting an industrial, urban chic look with clusters of spotlights and downlights illuminating the area below. The black theme continues with a striking open arched structure housing a fully stocked marble-top bar with round overhead lamps.

The décor features a green and black colour scheme with a mix of plush green velvet and yellow leather chairs providing comfortable seating. Green bar stools with gold legs add a touch of sophistication. ÖDN hosts live performances every week, such as Jazz Soirée Tuesday, a ladies’ night featuring live music by Alejandra, with more events coming soon.

As we settled in, ÖDN’s dim lighting created a warm, relaxed ambience and the crisp white tablecloths adorned with tea lights added a romantic touch. Soft jazz tunes filled the air, enhancing the laid-back vibe and setting the stage for our culinary exploration. Led by Chef Liton Mia, the menu at ÖDN is a testament to simplicity done right, focusing on quality over quantity.

For starters, we began with the Taco Tabbouleh, Walid’s visionary creation and a nostalgic ode to Beirut. A star dish, the crispy taco shell was more like a pastry with a fresh tabbouleh filling. The mix of parsley, mint, tomato, onion and pomegranate, drizzled with lemon dressing offered a burst of flavours. Light and moreish, I could eat these all day. The Shrimpy Blast came next, delivering an explosion of tastes and textures, with juicy king prawns lightly coated in crispy tempura batter and glazed with a spicy dynamite sauce. Sinatra’s Nachos featured crunchy chips combined with onions and mixed peppers, smothered in melted cheese and topped with jalapenos.

Moving on to a crowd-pleaser, the Strawberry Feta Salad offered delightful flavours with rocca leaves, feta cheese, juicy strawberries and pumpkin seeds for a crunchy texture. The dish had the perfect balance of sweetness and acidity, with the raspberry dressing deliciously sweet and tart at the same time. The Exotic Oasis salad, with its unexpected combination of ingredients, featured creamy avocados that paired perfectly with the sweetness of dates, while baby gem lettuce and walnuts added a satisfying crunch.

For mains, the beautifully presented Pan-Fried Salmon was cooked to perfection with a crispy skin, served with roast potatoes and dressed with capers. Cutting through the delicate richness of the fish, the lemon butter sauce enhanced its natural flavours.

More deliciousness followed as we opted for the vegetarian truffle version of the Fettuccine Pasta. The creamy sauce beautifully coated the silky pasta, while a medley of mushrooms, carrots, corn and broccoli provided the perfect al dente texture. The addition of truffle oil elevated it further, adding a luxurious flavour. We also tried the Risotto Truffle, a creamy and indulgent treat. The rice had a slight bite to it and the earthy umami flavours of the mushrooms were perfectly complemented by the truffle oil.

Next up was the Beef Steak Tenderloin USA 250g. Another standout dish, the meat was cooked to medium-rare perfection and was so tender it practically melted in the mouth. Accompanied by seasonal veggies and a rich mushroom and pepper sauce, it was garnished with rosemary and served with a basket of French fries.

Rounding off the mains, the ÖDN Star Burger was an absolute favourite! The black brioche bun, made with activated charcoal, was light and had a delightful cake-like texture. The beef patty, accompanied with beef bacon, crispy oloroso lettuce and cheese, was a perfect combination with caramelised onions and pickles. Served with crispy French fries and spicy mayo, this burger was a winner in every way.

Further enhancing our dining experience, Marinos (also a grape expert) treated us to a glass of Spanish grape that paired beautifully with our mains and a sweet concoction to go with the dessert.

The Duo Chocolate Fondante, a rich dessert with a decadent gooey centre, was presented two ways – one topped with hazelnuts and the other with strawberries. Complemented by a generous portion of Madagascan vanilla ice cream, it was a perfect ending to a perfect meal.

As we bid farewell to the restaurant, its warm hospitality, intimate ambience and unforgettable dishes lingered in our memories. Whether you’re a music lover or a foodie, ÖDN is sure to hit all the right notes, staying true to every bit of its motto: Where Timeless Tunes Meet Timeless Tastes! ✤