Comptoir Libanais — London
We stumbled upon this Lebanese restaurant after an afternoon at the Natural History Museum and festive ice skating. It was Halloween and we had five kids in tow, two vegetarians and one on the four hour body diet. So finding somewhere to accomadate all dietary requirements could have proved tricky. However we chose Comptoir Libanais as it seemed to have a varied menu, and everyone loves Lebanese food right? Comptoir Libanais is situated amongst a string of restaurants in the square next to South Kensington station. It is in a pedestrianised zone with restaurants laying out tables and chairs for diners to eat al fresco but beware as cars do drive past somehow!
I really like the vibe and decor of Comptoir Libanais. It’s colourful and retro with lots to look at. The staff were really friendly and we only waited 5-10 minutes for a table for 10. However a long queue was forming as soon as we sat down. Luckily the weather was so mild on Halloween that we got to sit outside. Inside this all day dining restaurant, you can see the staff preparing all the dishes. On to the food:
1) Mixed Grill — standard procedure with my husband is that he always orders the mixed grill everywhere. It’s usually a safe bet! The meat was ok and the flavours nothing special. The vermicelli rice was really buttery, soft and enjoyed by everyone. My children also shared a mixed grill which they really enjoyed.
2) Kibbeh — a bit dry but very filling and hot which is what you need after a long day out in London.
3) Moussaka — a very yogurty version of the classic dish. I liked that it had lovely fried onions and pomegranate as garnishing. This was a hit with our vegetarian cousins!
4) Jawaneh (chicken wings) — pretty good, juicy and hot, I’d order these again.
5) Sirine Salad — I had this as my main course because the description on the menu sounded so good. Spiced chicken breast, feta cheese with lettuce, tomato, toasted walnuts and pomegranate. The salad wasn’t as amazing as it looked or sounded and it could have done with more pomegranate surprisingly and a bit more of a kick.
One of the things I loved about this place was the variety of non alcoholic drinks. They have a range of homemade lemonades, I went for the apple, mint and ginger. It was refreshing, sweet and tangy. Perfect.
The restaurant is family friendly too as high chairs are available as well as a kids menu, which I didn’t order from but the thought is there nonetheless. Take away and delivery is also available. Other branches can be found scattered around London including at Gatwick, Heathrow, Westfield and our very own Kingston-Upon-Thames! I would eat here again and next time try some of the other less known Lebanese dishes.
Halal Status: All meat halal, as verified by staff. Alcohol Yes/Pork No.
Address: 1-5 Exhibition Road, London, SW7 2HE