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.

Yalla Yalla
12 Winsley Street
Fitzrovia, W1W 8HQ
0207 637 4748

Yalla Yalla Beirut Street Food on Urbanspoon

19 Thoughts on “Yalla Yalla Fitzrovia: Yalla and I, we’re all grown up

  1. i’ve been meaning to try Yalla Yalla for a while, so i’m glad to hear the food is so great. the grilled halloumi and the al janna dessert both look amazing!

  2. Oh man! I LOVE halloumi! This looks so good 🙂

  3. I really like Yalla Yalla. Such a cute little place. I must go back soon.

  4. Linda at Pink Elephants coffee,LLC on January 16, 2011 at 10:58 pm said:

    Gorgeous presentations. Did you get more megapixels ? These photos are just

  5. I totally drooled at the halloum meshoué and pretty much all of the desserts!

  6. i have to admit that i don’t like parsley too! the yalla jou jou looks awesome!

  7. You have just made my day. Every time I try to go to Soho its an hour wait. Finally, I will get to try their glorious food.

  8. thewanderingfoody: those dishes were amazing.. I LOVE grilled halloumi 🙂 the fattoush and moussakaa are great too!

    Maria: who doesn’t love halloumi!

    Greedy Diva: I like this new one better than the old small one. Much more space and better service!

    Linda: Nopes, same camera! 😀

    Lucy: I know, so good, right? The desserts are YUM!

    Melissa: Haha yeah parsley BLERGH. I’m trying to learn to like it though as it goes with so many foods!

    mealsinheels: Ahhhh you’ll love this joint. We went on a Thursday at 7pm – no queue and lots of space! Go try it! 😀

  9. I have a friend who was forced to eat tabouleh with so much parsley on that it put him off that herb for life. Now he feels sick whenever he tastes it.

  10. Love Yalla Yalla but never get a table when I go to the Soho one so shall definitely check this out. Great review Catty but how can you not like parsley?? 😉

  11. I LOVE LEBANESE. Shame on me for not having visited Yalla Yalla when I was in the area LOL but ok, incentive to visit. it all looks good especially the pistachio ice cream which I have a great weakness for. Parsley isn’t so bad, count your blessings that they didn’t serve up Chinese parsley which is godawful and way too bugsy for anyone’s liking. x

  12. my internet’s being crappy so i’m not sure if my 1st comment went thru! 🙁 anyway that pistachio ice cream looks ‘mazing (i have such a weakness for it). Yalla Yalla goes on my list for when i return…looks well yum it does. count your blessings they didn’t serve up chinese parsley which is just way too horrid and bugsy.

  13. Oh man, first Indian, and now Lebanese – Catty, you;re breaking my heart. Two of my favourite cuisines. Sigh.

    Still, at least YY seems to have done a good job of making something of a convert. Particularly as Lebanese desserts ROCK. Baclava, the ice cream, moist crumbly biscuits… Mmm-mmm.

    I really like YY, although I have only been to the teeny weeny branch, it sure is intimate. I’m glad they have a slightly more spacious joint now. And that baba gannoush, hummus and fatoush look ace. And as for frozed condensed milk. Delicious.

  14. Pingback: Tweets that mention Yalla Yalla Fitzrovia: Yalla and I, we’re all grown up « thecattylife… for all things cattylicious… -- Topsy.com

  15. Ollie: I have no idea what put me off parsley but for a long time I couldn’t even smell the thing let alone taste it. But I’m getting better!

    scandilicious: I KNOWWW… haha, I’m workin’ on it! Yes, definitely go to this branch, it’s much better and more comfortable… and even the staff are nicer!

    diva: I now have both your comments and feel blessed 🙂 WTF is Chinese parsley?!

    The Grubworm: sorry to disappoint 🙁 But I’d go back and eat a bowl full of parsley just for that Al Janna dessert again 😉

  16. Oh didn’t realise they had another branch – have only been to the little soho one which I LOVED. Next time I’m keeping room for pudding though – yum

  17. Oh its such a shame that the kibbé nayyé wasnt nice. Iv had a couple in Sydney and they were fab! Im glad you have changed your Lebanese views 🙂 its SO tasty!

  18. After travelling in Lebanon I am a big fan of Lebanese food and of the original Yalla Yalla so am glad to hear they have a new and bigger restaurant.

  19. Anne: They’ve just opened like a couple of months ago so don’t worry you’re not out of the loop 🙂 Yes, the desserts are almost the best part of the meal!

    Nic: Yeah, I’d give it another shot because everyone seems to think it’s great! It was just SO SALTY that night 🙁

    Gourmet Chick: I think Lebanon would be an amazing place to travel. And even if I didn’t eat parsley, I could survive on desserts right? 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post Navigation