If there’s one cuisine that I don’t really lust over, it’s Lebanese. Well it used to be Indian, but then these guys came along and changed the way I viewed Indian food forever. With Lebanese it’s not so much about the actual food, but it’s the parsley! Parsley on everything! And while I have to say that in all of my growing up I really am starting to appreciate parsley, I would still rather gag my way through a rubbery steak than consider downing a spoonful of tabouleh. Blergh.
But. If there is one thing I am, it’s open. I’d always vowed to go back to Yalla Yalla, and now with a bigger better venue just around the corner from my place, the time had arrived.
And before you go check out the food, just know that there were only three of us ok. THREE. We ate an absolute butt load and except for one dish (the lamb tartar) everything was utterly delicious.
note: I did shove most of the garnish parsley off my portions but give me a break, I’m trying here, people.
halloum meshoué – griled halloumi cheese with tomato, black olives,
fresh mint and olive oil
hommos – chick pea purée, tahini and fresh lemon juice dip
fattoush – lettuce, tomato, cucumber, spring onion, radish, mint, parsley and tossed crispy pita bread with sumac, red wine vinegar and olive oil
Parsley laced, but still the fattoush was a winner last time and again, one of the best dishes of the night.
baba ghannous – charcoal grilled aubergine purée, tahini and
fresh lemon juice dip
sawda djej – sautéed chicken liver with garlic and pomegranate molases
The chicken livers were cooked very nicely but the pomegranate molases was maybe just a tiny bit too sour.
kibbé lahmé – deep fried lamb and cracked wheat parcels filled with
onions, mince meat and roasted pine nuts
jawaneh meshoué – charcoal grilled marinated chicken wings
with garlic and harissa sauce
OMG chicken wing goodness! It’s no Kyochon but Leb vs Korean all the way, baby!
moussakaa – baked aubergines in a tomato sauce with onions,
garlic, cumin and chick peas
My favourite dish of the night! Moussakaa cooked to tasty, saucy perfection.
kibbé nayyé – lamb tartar with spiced cracked wheat, spring onions,
fresh mint and basil
This was the night’s loser. Normally apparently very delicious, said one of my dining buddies (and I believe her, she’s my go to for anything edible), it was just shockingly salty and inedible. We sent it back 🙁
We were bursting at the seams even sans tartar and still had dessert to get through! We ordered three desserts to share and the house sent out some baklawa in apology for the salty lamb tartar. Nice on the customer service there.
al janna – honeyed vanilla ice cream and caramelised nuts topped with
dried fruits and caramel pot
This was pretty much a bowl of frozen condensed milk. SO FRACKING GOOD I WANTED TO CRY.
rose petal and pistachio ice cream
I love rose petal/syrup flavoured anything and this ice cream was delicious. Pistachio to me tasted a little synthetic.
yalla jou jou – vanilla mousse speculoos, velvety dark chocolate coating and dark chocolate sauce with vanilla ice cream
Another winner, chocolatey cinnamoney goodness!
selection of baklawa
So as you can see, I consumed a heck of a lot of food considering my past prejudices against the cuisine. And notice I said “past”. Because I have a feeling that I’m starting to get soft in my old age and learning to enjoy the colourful delights of Lebanese food.
Go check out the new Yalla Yalla if you get the chance. I’m not the only one who’s growing up – this branch is about 50 times bigger than the old joint so no queuing *yay*, the ambience and service is much improved and I gotta say it, the food is good.
12 Winsley Street
Fitzrovia, W1W 8HQ
0207 637 4748