Yalla Yalla promises a taste of Beirut, and if you’ve eaten much Lebanese food you’ll know that is not as worrying as it sounds; Beirut street food can be seriously good. They have a range of wraps sitting on the counter, handy if you just want to drop by to pick up a tasty sandwich for lunch, but it was the main menu which drew us there. Click on that link and try to resist all of those wonderful sounding dishes. We couldn’t.
Order a couple of mezze per person (to share). The only one we had which was a tad on the pedestrian side was the grilled halloumi, everything else was the very best example of that particular Lebanese dish we have tried. The baba ghannouj and kibbe nayye (raw lamb, which they made sure we knew before they took the order for that) were just the cat’s arse.
Our main courses were also on the seriously pleasurable side of experience. I was particularly jollied up by my kafta meshoué, which was a brilliant re-working of the kebab concept. The mixed grill provided quite a lot of meat which was too much for our guest, but we helped her finish it and enjoyed every mouthful.
One of the really pleasing things about Yalla Yalla is the thought that has gone into the composition of the dishes. Rather than everything being served with an identical salad or the same style of rice, most of the dishes are presented with accoutrements that match the dish, be they vermicelli rice or smoked green wheat with raisins, prunes and apricots.
Yalla Yalla don’t take bookings, so if you urgently need quality Lebanese food get there early. We were the first diners of the evening to arrive, by six it was full. They have Lebanese wine and beer on offer (go for the beer), some cocktails (which I didn’t notice on the menu until I was on my third beer, curses!) as well as a baroque selection of fruits juices. Neither the food nor the drink will break the bank, so go crazy and enjoy those tastes of Beirut.
Contact details: Yalla Yalla, 1 Green’s Court Soho, W1F 0HA Telephone: 020 7287 7663
Great review and handy tip to get there early… I hate queueing.
It may not be the most sophisticated food I’ve ever had, but it was totally compelling. As I said, each dish was the best example of its type we’ve tried and we felt it was a screaming bargain. I hope you will be able to get there early enough to score a table. If you do I look forward to reading your review. I’ve put a link to your blog in my blogroll so my readers can read it too:) I’m a bit of a soft touch when it comes to Lebanese food, I love the stuff. I’d be prepared to wager that most people who dine at Yalla Yalla will leave loving it as well.
I went to Yalla Yalla for lunch close to when it first opened, and I wasn’t blown away. The fried seafod was delicious, but I thought the lamb kibbeh was over salted. The lemonades were delicious though.
Not worth repeating the experience just for the lemonades, Lizzie!
If you like good lemonade and, more importantly, excellent pizzas, get down to Franco Manca in Brixton for lunch. It is a brilliant lunch joint.