Alas, not nights spent in the country of Lebanon, instead a rather lovely Lebanese restaurant that I visited on Friday with my mother. I’d been telling her for weeks that I’d take her out for dinner (a sort of thank you for the lifts, laundry and general mother duties that the rent doesn’t cover) so I duly gave her a choice of cuisine (Lebanese or Moroccan…sort of a choice) and off we set.
We sat at the front next to the large glass panel – a slight error given that it was about 2 degrees outside. After shifting over a seat, however, our temperature issues were all sorted. The staff were very friendly and accommodating. True, when asked what sort of wine the house wine was, we were told ‘house’ about four times before my mother had to explain she has an allergy to Chardonnay and would like to see the bottle…it was indeed a Chardonnay and not a House. But in its own way, it added to the charm.
Our waiter was keen to offer us much heeded advice on our options (we decided on a combination of hot meze and a main course). The stuffed vine leaves were delicious, the halloumi squeaked to perfection and the calamari crisp. The spicy sausages could have been a little spicier and there was a rather confusing salad with pink…stuff. The main, however. Wow. Meat Mountain. Various meats kebabed in every way kebabably possible. We were utterly full by the end of the main course, but as the set menu included dessert we couldn’t possibly say no. I adored the sweet density of the baklawa whereas my mother prefers her lighter, crumblier and less sweet. But each to their own I guess.
As we were mulling over our peppermint teas, a belly dancer appeared, gyrating and wobbling all over the place. Yes we did have warning by way of the poster in the window and she was really rather good, yet there is something a touch awkward about a woman twitching her stomach at you whilst giving you a very seductive look as you sit in that post-food state waiting to return to a comfortable size. Glancing around, the men clearly were not going to object to a young bejewelled bra clad woman dancing around them, indeed a few looked like their birthdays had all come at once much to the disdain of their female companions. We won’t talk about the loud 30 year old who decided dancing with her was the only way forward.
It might not have looked much from the outside but its colourful and atmospheric interior made up for that (although they probably should do something about the polystyrene ceiling tiles) along with the food and friendly staff.