Levant Brings Lebanese Home Style To The High Street
Down some dark stairs between St Christopher’s Place and Marylebone High Street lies a sensuous den fit to burst with Middle Eastern delicacies and exotic cultural heritage.
Enter the subterranean space of Levant and you’ll immediately feel you’ve left London in favour of a warm Middle Eastern clime, where artful food is served up as enchanting bellydancers wind their way between tables and visitors can be heard wondering how they hadn’t known it existed before now. We felt the same way and left in agreement that this ethereal underworld is one of the best kept secrets in the capital. Let me fill you in…
A welcome change from some tacky foreign restaurants popping up across London, Levant is steeped in authenticity and just by looking around one can tell the establishment has been crafted out of sheer passion for Lebanese cuisine and culture.
Sitting down with two Passion Fruit and Mango Mojitos, my partner and I got a good feeling about the place when the guests next to us gasped in awe as huge plates of beautiful food were taken over to their table by smiling staff. To start, we ordered five mezze plates to share, opting for a mix of old favourites and things we’d never tried before.
The Hummus and Tabouleh dishes were everything we’d expected – fresh, tasty and perfect for taking the edge off a big appetite. Samak Mekleh (fried baby squid), Halloum Meshoue (grilled Halloumi cheese with tomato, green olives and mint) and Kibbeh La’teen (pumpkin and cracked wheat parcels filled with onion, walnut and pomegranate molasses) provided incredible new taste experiences that proved irresistible despite being very filling. We particularly enjoyed the Kibbeh La’teen as it was so unlike anything we’d usually order. Highly recommended if you want to try something new!
Next we chose Meswhi for two, consisting of a huge clay pot of organic couscous, prunes and apricots, topped with possibly the most succulent leg of lamb I’ve ever tasted. A tired cliche, but the meat quite literally fell off the bone. A wonderful main course that sadly left us feeling too full far too early – our only complaint was that we’d overindulged on the delicious starters to the extent that we didn’t have room for the whole dish – and what a shame to leave so much perfectly cooked meat going spare.
Such gluttony called for a refreshing mint tea to finish the meal, which was served to us with an array of traditional Middle Eastern treats including Baklava and Turkish Delight. Again, to out utter dismay we could only manage a few, but if anything this gave us a reason to come back – if every dish on Levant’s Feast, A La Carte and Mezze menus is as good as what we tasted, a return visit is essential.
Amy @ FashionBite xx
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