Monday, 28 May 2012

L is for Lebanon @ Yalla Yalla

Somehow we’ve managed to get to L with completely stopping, well we had some breaks but part and parcel of the course really. We are in this for the long haul, so upward and onward.
There really was no competition really with the letter L. It was Lebanese or bust. It was the obvious choice really.

We had tried to get into Maroush number 1,  but as it was a weekend night, they seemed to only have a set menu for £40, but that did include the cost of the belly dancer as well.
Surprisingly it was a 50/50 split with all the guys thinking of this as an opportunity to get to know the culture a bit more. The ladies were not impressed and it got shelved straight away. No messing with 3 Colombians, what they say goes.

So as the next choice we all chose Yalla Yalla, your friendly Beirut street food seller in lovely Soho.
Thankfully our group of 6 got a table within a few minutes if arriving and this was at after 8. Very lucky, as by 8 people were waiting for an hour, as we heard as we were getting ready to leave after 10.
I’d had wraps from Yalla Yalla before, and well a wraps a wrap isn’t it, every bugger is doing them, mostly badly but some ok. Yalla Yalla’s wraps I’ve had were ok, nothing special but they made a good quick lunch.

This is going to be sad to write, but the starters were much better than the mains. The hummus with tahini was pretty good, the tahini was not as overpowering as I normally make it, but then again I rarely put tahini in my hummus.

The Baba Ghannouj was ok, but this time the tahini overpowered the smokiness form the aubergine. A shame, but it was seasoned very well. Nice consistency. 
It’s a shame we never ordered more of the Soujoc (spicy Lebanese sausages) were picante but oh so lovely. The lemony garlicy sauce coated them oh so well. Reminder for next time, order more.
The grilled halloumi thankfully was not squeaky as it sometimes is. Lot’s of olive oil gave the sauce a real Mediterranean taste. Nice.

Actually all of the mains were a bit of a let down. My Mixed Grill, even though everything was cooked very well, I could taste absolutely zip in smokiness. What happened to the charcoal grill this was cooked on. My local favourite Adana cooks a mixed grill a hundred times better than this and it’s cheaper. This I’m sure was cooked in an oven or under a grill. Sad, sad, sad.

Some others had the Lamb Shawarma, grilled marinated lamb mixed with tomato, sumac and parsley. It didn’t look pretty and I was told it was so so.
The Lamb Casserole got mixed reviews, some said it was bland and dry. Part of the one I tasted was not bad, it was bland but the meat was well maybe cooked a little bit more than it should have, but it was still passable. Needed salt guys.

All in all it was a real mixed bag, starters good, mains poor very poor. But I like the shop, it’s small, cosy and has a really good atmosphere.
As we were paying a group came in and started making noises that they had been waiting for an hour to eat. Why this guy was telling me, as if I cared. If he doesn’t like waiting why hang around for so long. Idiot. The waitresses tried to kick them out for a few minutes whilst they cleaned the table, but they jut plonked down amongst our mess still moaning. Some people.
Next stop M, and I know of a Mauritian fish restaurant. Little do they know.

Yalla Yalla Beirut Street Food on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Meli Meli on the teli said...

I like your honesty about the place...not coming back in a rush. Fingers crossed for your new gastronomic expedition!