Dinner at Beirut Express, London

Fakhereldine was my family’s favourite Lebanese restaurant. We’d been going to it for about 30 years (clearly before I was alive) and it was just our standard place to go as we looovee a good lebanese meal. Sadly it closed down and Ming and I mourned it’s loss. No lebanese place has ever been the same.
Luckily I stumbled across this bad boy! Hannah had been telling me to go for a while, and it’s one of Maroush’s babies. Grandma Bridges and I were deciding where we’d go for our weekly date, and both of us were in the mood for some good Lebanese loving. I think we’ve found our new local Lebanese.

Grandma and I looked around and we were one of the only white (and half white) people there. You know it’s a good place when locals eat there.
We were very excited to chow down.

With Lebanese food, there’s so much you can order from. If you’ve never been and don’t know where to start, there’s a good set menu here. We more or less order our usuals. A surprising amount of my friends have never had Lebanese food. I’m literally determined to drag every single one here and force feed them.

And Grandma orders her usual Arak (a Middle Eastern alcoholic beverage).

 We were absolutely starving, and the waiter was a little busy so it only took a little longer than normal to order. He was absolutely lovely and felt so bad for making us wait that he promised us our food would come really quickly. And he was right – in only a matter of minutes our food was placed right in front of us. I was ready to dig in.

We ordered tabbouleh, which we always always have to order when we have Lebanese food. It’s proper Lebanese tabbouleh, not the crappy other version.

We also got hummus, which is another must-order. We always get it with lamb mince if available. Here, their lamb mince was proper shreds of lamb. Nomnomnom.

I made my standard Lebanese Lettuce Cups as my replacement for the pita bread.

Slowly our other dishes slowly arrived. We always get lamb kibbeh. We were trying to be healthy, but I can’t resist this deep-fried deliciousness.

I tried to make up for it by ordering the spinach sambousek. I always think I like it more than I do. My Dad absolutely loves it, but it was quite average. Knew I should have gotten the cheese-filled one…

Check out this spread.

All attractiveness went out of the window. Not one shit was given.

Especially when our mixed meat grill arrived. It was chicken and two types of lamb.

We devoured as much as we could, leaving only a couple of bits of meat, two sambouseks and one kibbeh. I got them packed up to take home for Lucy and her boyfriend as I was meeting them afterwards. Unfortunately for them, I forgot them at the restaurant, which I thought wasn’t a big deal until they told me they hadn’t eaten yet. And I made them wait an extra 15 minutes for me on my doorstep…. Oops.

We were thinking of ordering baklava for dessert (it’s incredible if you’ve never tried it), but our absolutely lovely waiter brought us out a selection of baklava and fruit as a complementary dessert. What an absolute angel.

The only problem was they were tricky to halve down the middle, and I was too stubborn to just have two each as I wanted to try them all. Or else how would I know which one I liked best?!

I also ordered a moroccan mint tea to wash it down. Usually they add sugar to it (they brought it out optionally for me to add) but hell no was I being any more unhealthy than I already was. It came in such a cute little glass and (less cute) teapot.

Look how fresh it is!

Grandma got a Lebanese coffee, which is her fave. She used to have it all the time when she lived in Lebanon, that little jetsetter.

I love our little dates. Just an excuse to eat food and gossip, really. At least we didn’t get drunk this time!

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