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London - Lebanese Restaurant Recommendation

While travelling in Australia I developed a fondness for middle eastern, and particularly, Lebanese food. One of the best feeds I have ever had was at Eminem in Perth!

Now I am back in the UK and looking for some recommendations for similar places to eat in London, mezze style eating, relatively cheap, and in and around Waterloo if possible (travelling in from elsewhere, although not sure if this is the right area of London for this style eating).

Thanks for any help

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  1. The only one I can think of that's vaguely near Waterloo is Hiba on Borough High Street and that does mezze style eating quite cheaply. I can't find a website for them but you can check out their menu on toptable:
    http://www.toptable.co.uk/venues/rest...

    This list of Lebanese restaurants in London might be useful too:
    http://www.london-eating.co.uk/cuisin...

    I'd recommend Levant and Fakhreldine personally, but they're both central and not exactly cheap. (Though Levant's feast menus are reasonable and you get a LOT of food).

    http://www.levant.co.uk/
    http://www.fakhreldine.co.uk/

    7 Replies
    1. re: DollyDagger

      Following our friend Howler's recommendation I went to Ishbilia and Beiteddine in Knightsbridge many times over the last year. Truly outstanding food and, for London, reasonable prices. Indeed, if I were to pick two places that had changed my perception of the subtlety of a cuisine over the last year in London it would be these two. It's worth the trip even if they are a bit out of your way. Cheers, BB

      1. re: bombaybeauty

        Hiba is quite good, but I think Ishbilla is better.

      2. re: DollyDagger

        There's Tas as well on The Cut and Borough High Street. Haven't been there for years though - used to be quite good before it became a mini-chain.

        1. re: greedygirl

          There is an interesting place called Les Mignon in Camden. On the corner of Arlington St and Delancey St.

          I have not been for a while, but i had a couple of very good reasonably priced meals there.

          very good Sawad dajaj (sp?) chicken livers with garlic and good basics like fattoush and foul madamas

          Nicely priced wines too particularly if you are a fan of Musar.

          Be good to know if it is still around/any good

          S

          1. re: greedygirl

            As it happens I went to Tas on the Cut a couple of weeks ago, having been a fairly regular customer since its inception, though like you I hadn't been for a while. I agree that becoming part of a mini chain isn't auspicious, but in fact I thoroughly enjoyed my meal, which was a starter of broad beans, and a Turkish chicken casserole for a main, flavoured with ginger. I also enjoyed the side salad and the chilli sauce offered hit the spot (although I think it is really intended for a kebab). I usually have the fish cooked in foil, for which you have to ask for a spoon to eat the soup-like stock in the foil, which is as good as the fish itself. A Turkish pud and coffee were also good. My only moan was that it wasn;'t practical to just order a selection of starters and have a free-for-all, which is why my starter was broad beans only. Anybody else been to the other Tas restaurants?

            1. re: Lord Brazing

              I often lunch at Tas Cafe (a mini-me version of Tas Restaurant) on Borough High Street, where it's possible to get a mezze selection for under £5 take away. I did remember from 2 meals at the Tas Restaurant on Borough High Street that I liked the small dishes more.

          2. re: DollyDagger

            I would second Hiba, we had the set menu for 4 and it was quite a feast...

          3. Although I know nothing about Lebanese food I just went to Ishbilia two weeks ago and thought it was excellent. Howler gets it right again!

            1. Isn't Tas Turkish?

              I second Le Mignon, nice intimate lebanese restaurant, good fresh food, reasonably priced. He has a nice cookbook too! There's a great pub across the road and I've had many fine nights combining both.

              2 Replies
              1. re: niamheen

                Yep - Tas is Turkish. I think it was suggested because the OP said middle eastern first, with a focus on Lebanese next.

                1. re: limster

                  Ah! I see. Tas is ok, good for a cheap bite and great for groups, but there's better food about.

              2. I clearly didn't read this properly first time - sorry - so here goes.

                I am also a very big fan of lebanese food and I think if you want to try the best Middle Eastern food London has to offer, you need to go to the Edgware Road. Maroush is very good, fantastic seafood and then the lovely mezze style dishes. I particularly love the labneh and ful moudammes. If you want a cheap bite Beirut Express is fab for falafels and juices. Maroush also have a gorgeous deli there, I am a frequent visitor.

                6 Replies
                1. re: niamheen

                  There are several branches of Maroush, how do you think they compare? I really enjoyed a dinner I had at the one in Kensington.

                  1. re: limster

                    limster - the maroushs/ranoushs/randas/beirut express (part of the same maroush family) are all wildly varying in quality as are the various al dars.

                    fwiw, i've long since felt that edgware road itself is much too touristy and not enough care gets taken at restaurants there.

                    i find that ranoush on ken high street and maroush on beauchamp place have the best taouk and toom. beirut express on old brompton road has the best meat shwarma. and, though not part of the maroush chain, foul muqqala is excellent at ishbilya. its all over the map.

                    finally, the one place i'm coming to actively loath is noura - a huge victim of its own success.

                    1. re: howler

                      I haven't eaten there in some time, I must confess, this last year I've been eating out a Le Mignon more, but have previously enjoyed the original Maroush on Edgware Rd and the one off Oxford St. I still do like Beirut Express though, the one on Edgware Rd and in South Ken.

                      I couldn't imagine the Edgware Rd being touristy! How things change. I used to live in North West London and if anything it was super dodgy (highest rate of muggings during the day in the whole of London at one point).

                      1. re: howler

                        What do you think of the Ranoush on King's Road? And the Al-Dar II on King's Road near Sloane Square?

                        1. re: Will125

                          I was unimpressed by the Kings Road Ranoush and it has an uncomfortable bar rather than restaurant feel. Went to Al Dar ll for a snack after the Royal Court and rather liked it. It is cheap for the area and the food is fresh and in large quantities though not of partcularly high quality.

                        2. re: howler

                          Love kebabs from Ranoush on High Street, Kensington.

                          Address details
                          =============
                          Ranoush
                          86 High Street, Kensington
                          W8 4SG
                          Tel: +4420 7938 2234

                           
                           
                    2. Ishbilia in Knightsbridge is good...

                      1. Also, for a lovely home made rustic lebanese experience i would definatley reccomend Amoul in Warwick Avenue. There sunday breakfasts are v well known in the area. http://www.amoul.com/

                        1. Another thread here (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/524426) had recommendations for Fairuz, off Marylebone High St. I ate there last week (grilled halloumi cheese with pita, then a mixed grill kebab platter, then baklava) and it was okay, not great (but the baklava was tasty!). Guess I should have paid attention to the fact that the reviews were so mixed! The thread also recommended a place called Diwan across the street. I didn't eat there because it looked more like where you'd pick up takeaway, not an eat-in kind of place.

                          I ate at Maroush about 5 years ago - the one off Bond St or Oxford St? - and enjoyed it.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: truman

                            Based on all the recommendations on various threads here (generally either by Howler, or by those who have followed his recommendation and been impressed!), I fancied Lebanese and knew I wanted to go to either Ishbillia or Beiteddine. The former was full, so went to the latter. In summary, had some excellent mezze, classics such as moutabel and houmus done very well, some more unusual stuff such as Kibbeh Nayeh- raw lamb with bulgur wheat- added interest and again was a very good dish. The food was mostly very impressive, and there was only one bad dish, the cheese sambousak which was very greasy and stodgy, and also a pity about the overpriced and uninspiring wine list. Still a very good meal, and good value for the location.

                            Thank you Howler for the recommendation- will be trying Ishbillia soon!

                            Full write up at http://londonrestaurant.blog.co.uk/20...

                          2. By far the best Lebanese I've had in London is Fairuz on Blandford Street, just off Marylebone High Street. The atmosphere is cozy and warm, the service is attentive and highly capable, and the food is amazing, especially the mezze. They have three different mezze menus: hot, cold and chef's specialities. I can recommend without hesitation the vine leaves, broad beans, tomato and whole nuts salad, lentils and griled halloumi, and you have to get the hummus for dipping the warm bread. They bring olives and a big bowl of cucumbers, tomatoes and carrots to the table when you sit down, and a plate of fresh baklava before you leave. It's the best!

                            -----
                            Fairuz Ltd
                            1 Blandford St, Paddington, Greater London W1G 8, GB

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: cgwatson2001

                              Do you find it better than Ishbilia? Fairuz definitely sounds like a place to look into!

                              1. re: zuriga1

                                I thought that Ishbilla or Alwaha were miles ahead of Fairuz.

                                1. re: limster

                                  You the man. I'm still trying to get my husband to Ishbilia - I know he would love it. We just live too far from London!

                            2. It's not near Waterloo but Abu Zaad on the Uxbridge Road, Shepherd's Bush is very good Syrian place http://www.abuzaad.co.uk/index.html

                              1. It's just my local place, but I've always had a great meal at Beity- better than my varied experiences in Maroushes. The wraps are cheap, the meals are hot & fresh, the falafel are amazing... some of the veggies (batata hara) aren't as fresh but that can be overlooked.

                                1. If you've been to Le Mignon, go down the street to Mezze Mezze on Parkway, looks like a takeaway from the front, but they have a dining room in the back and some great Lebanese food. If you're looking to splurge, try Noura. Both the Regent Street and Belgravia locations are good. They even have Mouloukhia on Sundays.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: pcltlon

                                    Oops. Meant Mezza Express, not Mezze Mezze!