Reviewed by Ruman
Can a poor experience at a restaurant be redeemed by great service from the staff?
Cook’n Saj is a Lebanese inspired restaurant serving Saj (a street food found in Beirut), burgers and salads using halal, locally sourced, organic meat. The restaurant has both table seating as well as a sofa area suitable for a quick bite or tea break.
We visited during the early hours of the evening for quick bite before we headed to the Louvre. We sat on the (very comfortable) sofas as we knew we wouldn’t be there for too long and weren’t ordering enough to need a proper table. We ordered the ‘Saj Chiche Taouk’ which was a saj (Lebanese flatbread) filled with organic grilled chicken, grilled peppers, pickles, onions, tomatoes and a garlic sauce. To our surprise, it took a very long time for the food to arrive (we waited almost an hour for one saj).
The wrap had been freshly baked on their in-house saj (domed griddle). This was a great quick bite with the flavours in the saj complementing one another well. The pickles added a subtle tanginess to the wrap and the chicken itself had a good flavour too.
Having been there twice now, if there’s one thing we can’t fault it’s the service. The staff and owners who happen to be two brothers are very friendly. You’ll generally find at least one of the brothers in the restaurant as well as their mum in the kitchen. On this occasion, as mentioned earlier, it took almost an hour for a very simple dish to come out. The restaurant wasn’t packed but it did look like they had a lot of orders for delivery.
When Zohra asked what was going on with the food they apologised profusely and insisted we stay until the food came. A plate soon came to us with the waiter saying ‘there are no hidden messages on this plate’. Initially, I didn’t understand what he was talking about until I noticed they’d written ‘don’t leave us’ on the plate. They also offered a complimentary side to apologise for the delay in service. We appreciated that they acknowledged the delay and their attempt to make up for it. It certainly got us thinking about how personal service can redeem a restaurant when food takes a very long time.
Overall, Cook’n Saj serves great Lebanese inspired food and has brilliant service. Unlike many of the halal restaurants we enjoyed in Paris, they are open all day (most break between lunch and dinner service or are only open for dinner service). The location is also quite central, with the restaurant being a ten minute walk from the Jardin du Luxembourg (Luxembourg Gardens) and Palais du Luxembourg (Luxembourg Palace).
Value for money: 7/10 (€9.60/£8.47 total bill // €9.60pp/£8.47pp)
Halal Status: All meat served is halal and organic. Alcohol is not available
Address: 5 Rue Bernard Palissy, 75006 Paris, France
Nearest stations: Saint-Germain-des-Prés
You can view our guide to the best halal restaurants in Paris here.
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Ruman eats a brownie a day, but only with coffee. She struggles to eat more than 2/3 of an adult size portion of food, but always has room for dessert. When not exploring restaurants, galleries or cities around the world, Ruman is a Marketing Ninja at Halal Gems, where she also holds the title of Chief Chocolate Officer.
Forever consumed by a mixture of wanderlust and FOMO, her interests include all things social media, travel, charity, photography and food.
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Reviewed by Ruman