Friday, 12 July 2013

Yalla Yalla

Average Lebanese in London

After a good number of drinks at Bar Artesian in Oxford Circus on an early evening, I was on the hunt for some decent cheap eat around the area. After trolling a few websites and Yalla Yalla been suggested a few times and seem like pretty good value base on a good numbers of positive reviews. The one at Winsley Street is the second branch of Yalla Yalla, it branded itself as a Lebanese restaurant serving Beirut street food. It was very busy when I got there and we had to wait about 20 mins before we got ourself a table.

We were given some little nibbles of olive and pickles before we order, but the olive wasn't good at all, it was far too sour and bitter while the texture was pretty tough, I wonder how long those olive been sitting around at kitchen for.... For starter we ordered a mezze of Makale Samak, which is deep fried tiger prawns, calamari with onions and aubergine. The tiger prawns were shrimp sizes and the calamari was far too salty to be eaten on its own. Both the onions and aubergine were covered with super greasy batter, The oil wasn't drain properly which created bit of a mess and filth at the bottom of the dish, it wasn't pleasant at all.
Olives and pickles
 Makale Samak

For main we ordered Lahem meshoue and mixed grilled. Basically it was a selection of charcoal meat of chicken skewer, lamb and kafta with grilled tomato, sumac, parsley and red pepper salad. Really liked the basmati rice, the seasoning was lovely and good depth of herbal and spices flavours within, however the same can't be say for the salad, it was "destroyed" by the very bitter vinegar dressing which was totally unnecessary. The meat was bit of a mix bag, the chicken was grilled perfectly, moist and tender. But the lamb was a touch overcooked while the kafta was overly seasoned.
Lahem meshoue
mixed grilled

To sum it up, the food was pretty average, nothing special and failed to justify all the great reviews it got over the years. Service was pretty much chain standard, for the price it commanded and considered it was at a very tourist  loaded area, I think the price is just about right. You can easily find better Lebanese elsewhere but this place isn't bad for a quick lunch or dinner when time is an issue and on a budget.

Food 3.5
Service 3
Ambience 4
Value 5

£15 per head

12 Winsley Street, London


Yalla Yalla Beirut Street Food on Urbanspoon

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