Monday, 15 September 2014

Yalla Yalla Beirut Street Food (Fitzrovia, London)

Yalla Yalla Beirut Street Food (Fitzrovia) is a bustling Lebanese restaurant tucked away in a relatively quiet side street by Oxford Street.  

Menu choice is good, with 17 different mezze dishes to choose from, plus nine other mains and 11 various wraps/pittas.  Among my group, there were a couple of vegetarians too, so it's definitely suitable for the veggies out there.  Sadly their website does not seem to be working at the moment, so I am unable to link you through to their menu.

Refreshing freshly squeezed fruit juices.

I shared my meal with the girlfriend and we opted for a mainly mezze-based meal, so that we could experience as many of the different dishes as possible. The mezze dishes were reasonably priced, with most costing between £4 and £5, which I thought was good considering the restaurant was not too skimpy on the portion sizes - just right in my opinion.

The best of the mezze we ordered was arguably the hommos shawarma.  The lamb was excellent - it was very well flavoured, soft and moist.

Hommos shawarma: chickpea purée topped with marinated thin slices of lamb fillet.

The sawda djej was a strong dish and one that the girlfriend in particular really enjoyed.  Personally I found the sauce a bit too sweet, but I can see why others feel that such a flavour could work well in contrast to the livers.

Sawda djej: sautéed chicken livers with garlic and pomegranate molases.

I was a fan of the kibbé lahme - soft, crispy, meaty, not greasy and not dry. Could definitely order this again.

Kibbé lahme: deep fried lamb and cracked wheat parcels filled with onions comfit, minced meat and roasted pine nuts.

The arayes dish was a good pick too.  Filled with spiced lamb and sprinkled with pomegranate, this was a welcome change from ordinary pitta bread.  On its own it could be perceived as a bit boring, but it works well with the other mezze.

The makalé samak was big in terms of overall volume.  The aubergine was good but the tiger prawns and calamari were quite small and hard to find - overall I would say this dish was average.

Makalé samak: deep fried tiger prawns, calamari and white bait with spring onions, crispy aubergine and chilli minted Greek yoghurt. 

Our final dish was a mains - the (vegetarian) moussakaa.  If, like me, you love baked aubergine, then this dish may be for you.  It felt like quite a light dish, in contrast to some other similar dishes I've had in other Mediterranean restaurants. My guess is that this is down to the differences in this dish, depending on which country it comes from. 

Moussakaa: baked aubergine in a tomato sauce, onions, garlic, cumin and chickpeas, served with basmati rice.

On average our meal among the group came to around £21 - not bad considering how full we were and how much food was on the table.  

Yalla Yalla Beirut Street Food on Urbanspoon