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Reviewed by Meresa Bergin
We decided to visit Warda Lebanese Restaurant on a trip to London. The restaurant is in Southgate and very close to Southgate underground station. However we travelled from Brighton and our ticket meant we had to go to Kings Cross station to get the train to New Southgate which was a 30 minute walk but it was easy to find.
I loved the outside of the restaurant, it looked like somewhere special to have a meal, the day was a very special day. The sign outside is so elegant and not fussy, on entering the restaurant our first impression was correct, the place was so beautiful and special! I felt like was really being spoilt and pampered. We were greeted by a member of staff who was so polite and happy to help, we explained we had a made a booking and she showed us to our seats. She offered us some things to nibble on as we looked at the menu and explained the set menu to us and then let us alone to decide. I kept commenting to my husband how stunning the place was, it has been awhile since we have dined somewhere so nice, I loved the candle holders on the tables. I also liked how it opened up to the sidewalk outside so it was nice and cool inside, I feel it makes you just want to walk in if you were passing.
As we decided I noted the Lebanese music playing in the background which I really enjoyed, I have never eaten Lebanese food before so waiter explained what each menu item was. I am also a vegetarian so was pleased to see a selection of dishes on offer. Our waiter returned and asked for our order, I decided to have Vegetarian 8 selection of mezzes (Hoummos, baba ghanouj, tabouli, falafels, warak enab, kibbe la kteen, fatayer, bemieh bil zeit), Moussakaa or Bemieh (okra) with rice, Baklawa, coffee or tea for £24.50. My husband had the same selection of mezzes but with a mixed grill 3 skewers (Selection of kafta, taouk and lahim meshoue) with rice as a main for £27. I ordered a Mint Lemonade, £3.50 (lemon juice, fresh mint, sugar and crushed ice) to drink which was truly heaven in my mouth, I could have drank it all day! My husband had an Almaza, Lebanon beer £3.50 which he also really enjoyed.
Whilst we waited I decided to visit the bathroom which I found very clean and with lots of room. On returning the waiter had brought our starters and explained what each one was which I found helpful as I had never tried to before and my husband does not like spicy food. The starters were the 8 selection of mezzes which consisted of Hoummos, baba ghanouj, tabouli, falafels, warak enab, kibbe la kteen, fatayer, bemieh bil zeit . I loved the Hoummos, a pureé of chickpeas, tahini and lemon, which was expected as I am a big fan but the falafels were my favourite which were deep-fried bean and herb croquettes, lemon and tahini dip. All of the selection were outstanding and could not be faulted. My husband even ate the Hoummos which was unexpected as he normally dislikes it, so that tells you how good it is!
The other mezzes were: Baba ghanoui – a purée of grilled aubergine, tahini and lemon Warak enab – vine leaves filled with parsley, mint, tomatoes, onions and rice Kibbe la kteen – deep-fried pumpkin and cracked wheat parcels, filled with onions, chickpeas and baby spinach Bemieh bil zeit – okra cooked in garlic, onions and tomato sauce
After our starters the waiter brought our mains I commented to my husband how generous they were and wonderfully presented, I was unsure I would be able to manage it all but I was willing to try. The rice and noddle mix was out of this world, I could have ate it all day it was that enjoyable. I loved the Moussaka, the aubergine was cooked to perfection, it can sometimes be too difficult to cook and taste a bit rubbery. My husband loved his mixed grill and again was amazed at the size for the price and commented on how well cooked it was, his favourite was the chicken skewer. When we were finished, we were totally full up and the waiter brought us some water before returning with the Baklawa which is a sweet pastry with a centre, ours was walnut. They were very yummy but a little too sweet for me but my husband adored them and wanted some to take home!
We were then offered tea or coffee, I do not drink either so the waiter made me a mint tea which again was divine made from fresh mint leaves just like the Mint Lemonade and was the perfect thing to have after my meal.
We loved Warda, it will become a firm favourite I think when visiting London in the future. I think the prices are outstanding for what you get and the staff are so attentive, willing to listen and offer suggestions and explain the menu to you (very helpful if it is your first time trying Lebanese food) but know when to give you space to eat which I think is important, I dislike feeling pressured when eating.
Warda also offer a selection of their menu for delivery within several London post code areas.