Abd el Wahab is a well-rehearsed restaurant in Belgravia that has perfected the art of delivering high-end Lebanese cuisine to the hungry elite. They have tremendous pedigree having opened in 1999 in the heart of Beirut and subsequently in all the major areas in the Middle East like Dubai, Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
This branch near Sloane Square is the first foray into Europe and as soon as you enter the restaurant, you get a sense that no expenses have been spared to impress the food connoisseurs of London. The living wall delivers a stunning visual impact and oozes vitality, the plush seating, and ornate wooden panels blend in with the natural theme and it never feels decadent unlike the other restaurants in this extravagant postcode.
The number of mezes at Lebanese restaurants can be mind-boggling, hence we opted for the Taste of Abd el Wahab Experience, where their signature dishes are brought out with regular frequency. My advice before tackling this tasty feast is to eat light beforehand, as there are TEN starters along with the main course and desserts.
The package comes with a glass of Prosecco on arrival and a glass of house red or white Lebanese wine. Lebanese wine is extremely underrated in the UK even though they've been making it for thousands of years but it is going through somewhat of a resurgence since the 1990s when the Lebanese civil war ended.
You can't say the Lebanese don't live a healthy lifestyle, as every meal begins with a mixed bowl of vegetables. Here it is lettuce, tomato, cucumber, spring onion, radish, and mint. On their own, they are not particularly appetising but when presented with dips like hommos and moutabbal, you could quite conceivable devour a whole vegetable garden.
The hot starters provided more spicy offerings with the well-marinated chicken wings cooked with simple coriander, garlic, and lemon juice, whilst the sausages had a gentle heat but never felt too heavy as they were sauteed with lemon juice. Fried potatoes aren't normally top of my order list, but their version has more of a kick from the use of green chilli along with chopped garlic and coriander.
When the mixed grill arrived for the main course, it seemed relatively small in comparison (but possibly because we asked them to lower the portion size after the magnificent meze feast). The grilled lamb and chicken taouk had a strong hint of smokiness from their charcoal grill and served with crispy-thin pita bread.
If that wasn't enough, we were offered the nutty richness of baklava to end our meal along with a food platter of exotic fruits like pineapples and watermelons that could feed a family of four. Thankfully, despite the upscale location, the staff are very personable and happily offered takeaway boxes for us to enjoy the abundance of food from the table which we could not finish. It might be Knightsbridge prices at Abd el Wahab but you certainly get value for money here.
For more information on Abd el Wahab see here.
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