Sunday, 24 June 2012

Yalla yalla - Lebanese & Middle Eastern cuisine (street food style)

After 5 + City Pig’s Summary


Lebanese and Middle Eastern
£18 per person
Yes. Small dishes to share and if you stick to the grilled dishes.
12 Winsley Street
London W1W 8HQ
T: 020 7637 4748
Opening times

MONDAY TO FRIDAY 10am – 11.30pm
SATURDAY 11am – 11pm

Eat in/Takeaway:
Recommended dishes & drinks
Lahem Shawarma; Apple mint & ginger lemonade
Vegetarian dishes
Loyalty card

After 5 + City Pig’s analysis
Yalla Yalla is a contemporary quick eat style restaurant. Here you will find small plates and mains of Lebanese food to choose from. A friend and I were here on a weekday after work and this place was already busy at 6pm. Since it is located at the back of Oxford circus , it attracts the usual social types/ media workers nearby. Immediately, as you walk in, you already sense that Yalla Yalla has a vibrant buzz with after workers tucking into small plates and sipping wine.

We ordered the hommos, tabboule salad, lamb Shawarma wrap and chicken wings. For drinks we opted for apple, mint and ginger lemonade and elderflower and fresh orange lemonade to wash it all down. I was impressed with the drink as it was refreshing and tasty and really complemented the meal. The hommos was disappointing as it was really runny and did not have much chickpea taste. I found that the bread served with it to be an extremely small portion and it was cold and hard. Most places now serve warm bread and for a Lebanese/ Middle Eastern restaurant the bread is usually soft and delicious not hard. As the portion of free complimentary bread was so small, most diners are expected to re-order another portion which will be charged.

Moving on to the lamb Shawarma, this was much tastier than the hommos and the lamb as this was crispy but not too dry. The taste was delicate but aromatic at the same time. The portion for this was relatively large. The chicken wings were also marinated well in chilli sauce that was fairly mild and with pomegranate pieces to give it a juicy sweet taste. The tabboule was average and it appeared to me the meat dishes were the main highlight for me.

This is definitely a refreshing and hip place to meet friends for a light bite. Recently there have been a lot of interest and noise on restaurants serving small plates whatever the style of cuisine. Certainly it may make diners feel good that they appear to be eating less but they are being smarter in that they get to try more variety in this style of eating. They must call this the new balanced diet. Just remember those small plates add up.

Summary of Citypig’s meal with pal:

o    Elderflower & fresh orange lemonade £2.50
o    Apple mint & ginger lemonade £2.50
o    Hommos £4.00
o    Jawaneh Meshoue (chicken wings) £4.25
o    Fatayer Spinach £4.50
o    Lahem Shawarma £11.50

Yalla Yalla is certainly very affordable. The above cost per person is £18 approximately including service.

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