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Ah, sushi – the sweet taste of chocolate, the crunch of Oreo cookies, the rich softness of a pancake.
Hold up. The platters of sushi that are served at Jessy Juice in the Lebanese city of Batroun come with a twist – they’re actually made with rolled, sliced and decorated sweet crêpes.
This Lebanese joint offers standard crêpes with fillings such as sugar, lemon, Nutella and banana, and strawberry, as well as a range of juices. But its flagship dish is designed to look like sushi. It’s a boat-shaped platter covered with anything from eight to 100 sweet treats. The pancakes are filled, chopped into artful, sushi-like slices and drizzled with nuts and white and dark chocolate before being topped with broken cookies.
Jessy Juice is on Main Street in Batroun, Lebanon. Batroun is a small and peaceful city with a picturesque old town and great sea views. Its history goes back to around 1000 BC, and it was a key port for the Phoenicians. As well as a beach scene and some buzzing bars and clubs, it has a long Christian history, and there are several historic Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches. It’s a great place to stop if you’re on a road trip through Lebanon, especially if you have a sweet tooth.
Other treats to try when you’re in Lebanon include cakes, nuts, ice cream and pastries like aish as-saraya (breadcrumbs with syrup, pistachio and clotted cream) or qatayef (a sweet dumpling filled with cream or nuts). But don’t neglect savoury dishes – meze is one of the delights of eating here, with grains, cheese, aubergine, yoghurt, seafood, lamb and salad some of the main ingredients in these delicious small plates. Falafel, kofte and local versions of pizza complete a wonderfully varied cuisine. Just remember to save some space for crêpes that look like sushi and taste utterly decadent.