Lebanese Village Restaurant
Time Out Says
We arrived long before all the action started, so sat in an almost deserted restaurant. When we returned later to have a look it had filled up and livened up. The traditional hierarchy of waiters was very evident, but they all seemed to have three stripes on their epaulettes, which confused us. The chief role of the three stripers was moving things from A to B; anything more taxing was referred up to their suited superiors.
The menu was authentic apart from a few items that must have been included for the benefit of any stray tourists (although who the pasta with curry combo is aimed at is anybody’s guess). We were also confused by the Seizer Salad – a distant relative of Caesar, perhaps.
We went totally ethnic and started with Hoummos, Tabouli, Fatoush and cheese sambousak (hot cheese pastries.) We think the hoummos had been sitting in the bowl for quite a while before we got it. The tabouli tasted great but was quite wet. No complaints about the fatoush, the sambousak or the bread, which was being freshly made in the restaurant.
The mixed grill, presented under the usual heap of onions, parsley and bread was tasty; the lamb was especially tender. My ‘half chicken grilled in machine’ was a small half from the rotisserie served with chips. We finished with a sundae glass overflowing with steaming Um Ali (Arabia’s answer to bread and butter pudding – but this one was fragrant with cardamoms). Presenting it straight from the microwave did not do it justice.
We recommend sitting outside quite late at night and trying a selection of hot and cold mezzes. The restaurant comes alive when the locals arrive, and it is a great people-watching spot.
A special buffet is laid on from 12 midday every Friday.
By Carolyn Robb | 01 Mar 2002
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