Lebanese summer delights at Comptoir Libanais, Soho, London
Review: Dinner at Comptoir Libanais, Poland Street Soho, London
Style Points: 3/5
Comptoir Libanais prides itself on offering wholesome, flavourful Lebanese cuisine in a souk like setting. Which branches spreading across the UK, the menu at Comptoir Libanais focuses on healthy choices and refreshing flavours which appeal to meat-lovers, vegetarians and vegans too.
The restaurant itself has been designed to reflect owner Tony Kitous’s childhood at his Grandparents’ house, with decorative ceramic tiles, red and brushed-chrome stools, bold-patterned turquoise tables and monochrome arabesque geometric flooring.
What's on the menu?
The food at Comptoir Libanais is fresh, healthy and filled with flavours of Lebanon, such as pomegranates, orange blossom and of course halloumi cheese! The recently launched new menu includes authentic dishes such as Samke Beiruti which is a traditional roasted sea bass fillet dish from Beirut.
No Lebanese meal would be complete without delicious hot and cold mezzes and we started our meal with the mezze platter. This includes a variety of speciality mezze such as baba ghanuj, hommos, tabbouleh, falafel, freekeh salad, grilled halloumi, pickles and warm pita bread too.
From the hot mezze menu we ordered marinated jawaneh, chargrilled marinated chicken wings with pomegranate molasses drizzled across the top, adding a sweet zing to the dish.
We also tried the highly recommended lamb kibbeh, minced lamb wheat parcel with refreshing mint yoghurt.
The menu at Comptoir Libanais has a vast range of options for main course, including classic tagines, grills and salads. After much deliberation we ordered the classic chicken and green olives tagine served with baby carrots, lemon confit and green olives and couscous. This was a moist and luscious dish which the juices oozed into the couscous creating delicious dish.
We also tried another typically Lebanese dish of spiced lamb kofta with herbs, onions and spices, served with vermicelli rice. The lamb was well cooked and moist yet as there was quite a bit of rice served with the dish it would have benefitted from the addition of a sauce served with the plate.
Although we were quite satisfied with our meal already, I couldn’t help but be tempted by the dessert menu which featured some special additions on the new menu. I ordered the dark chocolate and cardamon cake served with sour yoghurt as well as the chocolate and tahina brownie served with vanilla ice cream. Both desserts were lovely but also quite dense, making them hard to finish.
We finished our meal with some compulsory baklava, mint tea and a decadent spiced hot chocolate, ending our meal as it started with some Lebanese tradition.
Could I afford to dine here again?
Comptoir Libanais was formed on the idea of bringing true authentic dishes of Lebanon and the Middle East to the Western World in a real and accessible way.
As a result the prices at Comptoir Libanais are affordable for each of the courses as well as drinks too. In fact, prices for main courses are about £10 with the most expensive being the sea bass Samké Beiruti which is still priced at under £13.
Since the first branch of Comptoir Libanais opened in 2008, the restaurants have grown its regular customer by served fresh, traditional Lebanese cuisine in an accessible way. As a result Comptoir Libanais is a popular restaurant for a relaxed but authentic Lebanese meal in London.
A special thanks to Comptoir Libanais for their hospitality!
Visit Libanais Comptoir’s website here
Closest tube station: Tottenham Court Road
Address: 52 Poland St, Soho, London W1F 7NQ