An Arab Londoner's guide to the best Middle Eastern Food
Middle Eastern food is full of variety, but you need to know where to go to have the most authentic experience without breaking the bank.
West London is the hotspot to get your Middle Eastern fix. I am certain the majority of us are familiar with the post night out kebab. Follow this guide and trust me when I say that there is more to Middle Eastern food than meat on a rotisserie.
Bait Al Zaytoun
15 Barretts Green Rd, London NW10 7AE
Next time you plan a brunch try something different to the standard avocado on toast and hop over to Bait Al Zayton. The restaurant/shisha bar, whose name translates to 'house of olives,' is a hidden gem with a side view of the canal- the perfect Sunday brunch setting. In order to have an authentic Lebanese breakfast experience, you must try Manakish; a Lebanese flatbread with an array of toppings, best accompanied by a pot of chai (black tea.) Go later in the evening and you can have your dinner with shisha, accompanied by a live singer.
Maroush Beauchamp Place
38 Beauchamp Pl, Chelsea, London SW3 1NU
Knightsbridge has become the second home of Arab tourists, so to no surprise, you can enjoy many Middle Eastern delicacies in the area. Maroush is a sophisticated take on traditional Lebanese cuisine with the elegance and charm of London fine dining. The three-floor restaurant offers a variety of Lebanese delicacies; without question, you should always begin every Lebanese meal with a selection of Mezza’s with a serving of bread fresh out of the tandoor oven. Maroush never fails to cater to all its customers with a wide range of vegan and vegetarian options.
31 Chalk Farm Rd, Camden Town, London NW1 8AH
If you ever find yourself by the Camden Docks, make sure to get your falafel fix at the Magic Falafel. The street food style 'shack' is vegan-friendly, and arguably the best falafel you will find in the whole of London. Make sure when you order your falafel wrap or box, you stuff it with as many fillings as you possibly can for maximum flavour overload.
215-217 King St, Hammersmith, London W6 9JT
For those who want to add some culture to their Instagram feeds, Mahdi is a beautiful restaurant distinguished by its carved wood fixtures and a water feature in the centre of the restaurant, which gives this Persian restaurant an exotic feel. Mahdi is perfect for family dinners, with its big portions and fragrant dishes everyone leaves more than satisfied. To end your meal, no matter how full you are, you must treat yourself to Faloodeh, a traditional Iranian cold dessert similar to a sorbet. The dessert consists of thin noodles made from starch in a semi-frozen syrup containing sugar and rose water.
28 Abbey Rd, London NW10 7SB
There is a reason why the Middle East is leading in Diabetes and Heart Disease: they know how to do desserts. If you are in the mood for a sugar overload head down to Patchi, where you will be met by an array of Arabian sweets. Baklava, the golden treasure of the middle east, which comes in many different varieties- all pairing perfectly with a glass of chai to balance the sweetness. If Baklava is not for you then you must try Kanafeh. It is an Arab dessert that is made with thin noodle-like pastry soaked in a sweet sugar-based syrup and typically layered with cheese and pistachio.
Chapati & Karak
££ Qatari Cafe
144 Brompton Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW3 1HY
Chapati & Karak is a chain café from Doha, Qatar. As you step in the smell of burning out and the traditional décor wafts you away to the most enchanting and relaxing Qatari experience in London. Situated in glamorous Knightsbridge, the café is the home to the famous traditional drink of Qatar: Karak. The drink is typically served hot and is a rich blend of cardamom and other fragrant spices- it is the perfect drink to be served with Chapati.