Hiba, Borough, London
- limster Nov 25, 2007 07:14 AM
Drawn into this Lebanese place by the promise of a raw lamb kibbeh, I found that they've discontinued the dish.
The hummous is good, smooth, a bit heavy on the tahini, but nicely smoothened over by a pool of olive oil and a little pile of chick peas.
Makanek is savoury but basic, the pinenuts embedded in the meat providing mostly textural contrast rather than aroma. A thin and vinegary sauce which is fine if applied judiciously. Asked for toom, but none came...
Little spinach and pinenut filled pastries were ordinary, lukewarm on the inside and a touch plain, as if premade, frozen and baked as needed.
Pretty good tray of baklava, sweet and nutty, and fairly crispy filo that was not overwhelmed by the honey.
This place has really grown on me over the last few years -- having sampled a broader section of the menu over several meals, it;s really worth checking out the:
Fattet Hommos B`laban - a gorgeous garlicky yogurt base, with chickpeas and pinenuts, glossy with olive oil, and a beautiful textural contrast with incredibly crunchy pieces of toasted pita.
Jawaneh - outstanding grilled chicken wings with toom/garlic sauce; with smoky savoury and charry bits, moist, tender juicy. One of the best chicken wings around.
Mouhamara is also an excellent rendition, nutty peppery sweet spicy.
Agree the jawaneh is very nicely grilled, up with some of the best grills I've had. Garlic sauce could be a bit more garlicy, but I'm splitting hairs here.
I found the fattet a bit watery and muted though – maybe it's just personal taste, but I grew up with renditions where the yoghurt was much thicker, there was more chickpea action, and some pine nuts livening up the top.