Until I started my new job, my old office was based on Gloucester road. A lovely little area just round the corner from South Kensington. It has lots of lovely hotels, some BEAUTIFUL houses but not a tone of great places to eat. Burger King and KFC are the first things that greet you as you come out of the tube for goodness sake! So when I saw that they were opening a new Comptoir Libanais on the same road as said Burger King, I was ecstatic! And even more so when they asked me to come down for dinner and try it out.
You may remember me mentioning Comptoir Libanais before when I was invited down to try their new branch in Kingston down by the river. However because that event didn’t just consist of us trying just their restaurant, it meant that by the time we got to Comptoir Libanais I was STUFFED, so I didn’t really get a proper feel for their food.
The decor in all their restaurants is super vibrant and the Glocester road branch is no exception. Walking in you feel like you’re being transported to a souk or market place with its mismatched colourful chairs and walls covered in beautiful decorative items that you can purchase. The floor and wall tiles are also in keeping with the theme in stunning multicoloured geometric patterns. Plus a whole section of food items that you can take home to try out some of the recipes you’ve tried, you half feel like your in someones house, in the loveliest, comforting, way.
We were greeted by their lovely restaurant manager who explained the menu to us and gave us some recommendations before reappearing with two delicious glasses of their homemade lemonade. We were advised to try the mixed mezze platter with some added jawaneh (chargrilled chicken wings) and lamb kibbeh (minced lamb parcels).
The mezze consisted of baba ghanuj, hommos, tabbouleh, falafel, lentil salad, grilled halloumi and pita bread. It was presented beautifully and all tasted delicious. I’m not usually a big fan of tabbouleh but theirs was lovely.
After stuffing our faces with all the starters, our mains quickly arrived. Ed had gone for the mixed grill, typical boy, wanting to try all the meat options! And I had their chicken and green olive tagine with couscous. Mine was AMAZING! I’m always a bit funny with chicken as there’s nothing worse than dry chicken, but i also get pretty paranoid about it being cooked thoroughly too. This was perfect, really succulent and the sauce accompanied it perfectly. Also, amazing portion size. Not sure if it was partly due to the rather large starts that we had had or if they were just really generous main sizes, but we both struggled to finish, I even got half of mine to take away in a doggy bag!
At this point, I usually wouldn’t even consider a dessert as we were both full to the brim, but we also felt like we sort of had to to be able to tell you all about it! We opted for a typical Lebanese mint tea to try and let at least some of our food go down before we ordering. Served in a traditional silver tea pot and poured from the sky it was another little added extra that made you feel like you were no longer in London.
We finally settled on a chocolate and tahini brownie and a portion of vanilla ice cream with honey and roasted mixed nuts for dessert. I was a little dubious about the use of tahini in the brownie but it was actually amazing. It just gave it a slightly nutty taste. It was lovely and soft and still warm when they served it, a must when it comes to brownies!
The food was amazing and seriously good value for the portion size and quality. The service was also great. They have managed to make it the perfect spot for both date night dinners or quick work lunches, well worth a visit.