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Yalla Yalla is somewhat of a novelty in London since it serves Beirut Street food in the heart of the hip West End. Tucked in the back street of red light district Soho, Yalla Yalla is a funky hang-out, brimming with character and serving great food with Middle-Eastern origins. The mezze dishes are faultless, like the garlic humus, crisp fattoush salad, spicy sujuk sausages, halloumi and shish taouks; you name it, they're all delicious. You can order take-away, but if you're visiting for the first time and there is room, eat in and soak up the atmosphere.
You’ve guessed it! This café specializes in all manners of hummus. After many months perfecting the recipe, two young businessmen launched the concept - the UK’s first place to focus on this signature Mediterranean dish. Each person receives a bowl layered with hummus accompanied by warm pita bread and their choice of fresh toppings - from guacamole to Italian sausage casserole. Greek salad, falafel and a range of other sides and desserts are also available, along with delicious drinks like hot spiced apple juice and the endlessly popular fresh mint and ginger lemonade. With simple modern design, a bustling relaxed atmosphere and seating at large tables and along the window, it’s a great place to socialize and watch Soho life go by.
Visit Noura for some delish Lebanese treats like tabbouleh, kafta, and many more. Jointly owned by brothers Nader and Jean-Paul Bou Antoun, Noura is as popular as their other establishments in Paris. The menu is extensive and selection can take time. Begin your meal with the Mézzes menu (appetizers) or try one of the Fish soups. The main course menu features many lamb dishes. Don't forget to treat yourself to some amazing Lebanese desserts like baklawa (layered pastry with almonds, pistachios or pine kernels) and mouhallabieh (Lebanese pudding). And if there is room for more, end the experience with some delicious Lebanese coffee. You can bring along your vegetarian friends too as Noura has an amazing array of veggie delicacies. The long open hours make it a reliable place for any short notice plans. Although this place can get a little packed in the evenings, the traditional cuisine it offers makes it worth the visit.
Abu Zaad is a bright, friendly and family oriented restaurant on Edgware Road. It offers a fine selection of Syrian food served with a smile from its staff, who are always smartly turned out in traditional Syrian attire. For those interested in sampling Syrian cuisine in an authentic setting, this is probably the best option short of boarding the next flight to Damascus. The setting and the decorations, from the simple tables under elaborate chandeliers to the Arabic news channels on TV screens, create a feeling that you could be in a typical eatery in the Middle East.
This upscale Lebanese restaurant is one of many in the city; it enjoys a prime location in the posh shopping sector of town. Famed for its fresh, high-quality Middle Eastern cuisine, Maroush II is often crowded with locals and tourists, who take advantage of its late hours. Business folk and couples come here in equal numbers, to dine on meat dishes and sip a shot from the extensive spirit list. Feast on sausages, meatballs, kebabs and the special char-grilled chicken in garlic mayonnaise. The ever-famous pitta bread is a must with each dish. Expect to see a few famous faces from the local social circuit here. You need to pay a cover charge of GBP 2 for sitting on the topmost floor. A good place to tank up after a night of partying!
You would be forgiven for dismissing this place as just another of the many run-of-the-mill fast food places that are densely scattered across London's streets. Nestled on the edge of Shepherds Bush Market, it appears simple, spartan and uninteresting. At lunchtime, however, there is a definite buzz around it as workers flock from all directions to taste the "best Palestinian falafel". Expertly prepared falafel is served up in a number of imaginative ways by friendly staff.