Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tuesday Tasties No. 44 - Yalla Yalla - A Review

I have finally been to Yalla Yalla this place has been on my London hit list for what feels like an age. Naturally this meant it had a fair old bit to live up to, not least of all because Time Out have just included it in their Top 50 London Restaurants.

Yalla Yalla is a street food style restaurant dealing in traditional Lebanese food, as I've never had Lebanese food before I was pretty excited to try something authentic! We visited the original branch which is tucked away in Soho just off of Brewer Street. They don't take bookings, however, now I've finally been here I can see why! 
The place is pretty small, and it's decorated with lots of scarves, wooden tables and multi-coloured cushions which give it a nice authentic feel. I think the air-conditioning was broken when we visited but this didn't really bother us to much. In a way, it actually made us both feel as though we weren't really in London any more! I did feel a little sorry for the staff as they looked a little flustered but this didn't stop them from doing a great job, they were friendly, polite and happy to answer our questions on what to order. Serious Kudos are due there as I couldn't work in that sort of heat.
You've got a couple of choices when ordering here, you can either go for the Meze (I'd recommend around 3 dishes per person here) or go for a main which comes with rice. As it was our first time here, we went for the Meze and ordered 6 dishes.
The first basket of pitta bread was free (thanking you) and we used this to mop up all the yummy juices. I thought you'd like to see what we ordered, so here we have Soujoc on the left, spicy Lebanese Sausages and on the right there's Hommos Shawarma which is chic peas with lamb.
Apologies for the blurry photo here, the flash was distorting my images! Here we have the Chicken Rakakat which is pastry filled with chicken, garlic and harrisa and a dip. I think the dip may have been tahini based as there was a sesame element to it.
Here we have Kibbe which is essentially lamb and pine nuts which are deep fried. I've realised as I'm posting my pictures we didn't actually order anything salad based, please rest assured that there are lighter dishes such as Fattoush and Tabboule on the menu as well.
The final two dishes we ordered, one of which I forgot to take a picture of is Jawaneh Meshoue which is above, namely chicken wings. The other dish was Makale Samak which included a medley of prawns, white bait and squid with minted yoghurt.

All in all our experience was fab, the bill was under £40 including booze and service which I think is pretty amazing considering the quality of the food and the rather peachy portion sizes. The Makale Samak plate was enormous and I'm pretty sad I forgot to take a photo, clearly I was to busy enjoying my food. Ad and I are hoping to visit again soon.

Have you been to Yalla Yalla? What did you think?


  1. Oh my gosh - yum! I love Middle Eastern food. I was spoiled growing up near Dearborn, Michigan. It has the largest Middle Eastern population in the US, and as such, its restaurants are amazing! Moving to Savannah, GA and then Nashville, TN, there aren't quite as many stellar options for falafel, grape leaves, tabbouleh, gyros, etc. The meze platters are my favorite too because you get a little bit of everything. I love the lamb meat atop hummus best. Oh, I am craving this now! Good thing we're visiting Michigan in a few weeks. I know where we'll be going out to eat!

    <3 Liz

    1. I just love food, as I'm sure you've gathered by now. Ad grew up in Birmingham near the infamous Balti Triangle so he's been pretty spoilt in terms of Indian food but it also means he appreciates trying something a little different. I've had Indonesian food before but never anything Lebanese so I thought it was about time.

      It kind of reminds me of Moroccan food with the lamb, mint and pomegranate but it's a lot more subtle with less spices.

      I really enjoy meze/tapas style dishes, like you say, it gives you a change to try a bit of everything but it's also a really sociable style of eating as well.

      Hummus is so delicious and so versatile, Ad likes ours with Jalapenos stirred through but he always was one for spicy food.

      I'd love to see where you end up having a nibble!!!

      Laura x


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