Yalla Yalla is a Lebanese restaurant opened first in 2008 in their Soho location followed by Winsley Street in 2010. Looking to bring over to London authentic, Lebanese cuisine, the chef Jad Youssef and his wife decided to open up this business.
I am a sucker for Lebanese cuisine (long story) so when I found out about Yalla Yalla I jumped at the opportunity of trying it out. They were offering an amazing Mother's Day meal for £25 per person including a sharing starter, a main each and a desert each, so I took my cousin and we had lunch in the Winsley Street location.
The decor of the restaurant is very casual and informal which gave me a sense of "home cooked food vibes". Beautiful light wooden tables and monochrome printed walls create an authentic atmosphere that was really a pleasure to eat in.
In terms of the food I honestly don't know where to start, as the sharing starter was something incredible that I would eat over and over again. We had a selection of dips and various other things that tasted absolutely insane! The hummus, garnished with olive oil and chickpeas was light and flavoursome, similarly to the baba ghannouj (charcoal grilled aubergine purée). We were also brought an avocado and lemon dip and a beetroot dip served with warm pitta bread. In addition to all of this the sharing starter included a tabbouleh salad (parsley, mint, spring onion, tomato, olive oil, cracked wheat salad) and falafels.
As if this wasn't enough (and we were certainly stuffed) there was a main to order. We chose both the chicken tagine served with vegetables and vermicelli rice, lokoz meshoue (charcoal grilled sea bass fillet with citrus scented rice and a delicious fennel, apple and parsley salad). Other available selection on the mother's day menu was the mixed grill (charcoal mixed grill of a chicken skewer, lamb and kafta with grilled tomato, sumac, parsley and red pepper salad) or the moussakaa (Baked aubergines in a tomato sauce, onions, garlic, cumin and chickpeas). The mains (as much as we could eat because honestly the starter would have been enough) were amazing. You could really taste the flavours and charcoal grill is certainly my preferred way of cooking! Other interesting options on the everyday menu are Kasaleta (Charcoal grilled marinated lamb cutlets with a grilled baby aubergine, spring onion and red pepper pure), Kreidis meshoe (Charcoal grilled marinated king prawns with citrus scented rice and spicy tomato and coriander sauce) - which I would love to try one day and of course, my all time favourite shish taouk (charcoal grilled marinated chicken).
Have you heard of baklava? I mean I really hope so because they are the most delicious cubes of sweetness in the world. They aren't the lightest of pastries but when you're out for lunch you may as well indulge yourself. They are made of little filo pastry layers with chopped nuts and honey, and create the perfect combination when added beside fresh mint and rosewater tea.
When it comes to Lebanese food I would never usually venture outside Edgware Road, but this place has become my new favourite thanks to the amazing authentic food and the friendliness of the staff - top restaurant.