To help spread awareness about what Ramadan is and cultivate the inclusivity at the heart of the festival, founder of Comptoir Libanais, Tony Kitous, and the rest of his team have put together a special sharing menu for the period based on traditional recipes cooked by mothers all over the Middle East and North Africa.
This year the Comptoir Libanais set menu costs £24.95 per person and is available during Ramadan from 6pm from 15th May to 14th June 2018 in all restaurants around the country.
Always keen to get into the spirit of love and harmony (while enjoying good food), we headed down to the Comptoir Libanais at Leeds Trinity to give it a go.
Anyone that would like to try it out for themselves can book a table at: https://www.comptoirlibanais.com/
The feast menu starts off in traditional style with a little something to break the fast so we kicked off proceedings with some juicy dates and a honey yogurt drink, which was was all nicely light and refreshing, thank you very much.
Having tickled our tastebuds in such flavoursome fashion, we were then treated to the mezze starters, selecting a fattoush salad – a Lebanese village salad with tomatoes, cucumber and toasted pitta – and hommos, made from chickpeas and tahini, and beetroot labneh, a dip made from sweet beetroot and labneh, a traditional strained yogurt cheese. These were both delicious and we readily accepted the offer of more pita bread to greedily mop it up with.
Keen to build on such an impressive start, we then moved to the main event, opting for a mixed grill that combined lamb kofta, chicken kofta and chicken shish taouk, all cooked perfectly cooked on a hot grill and served with vermicelli rice and salad; and fattet kibbeh, minced lamb and bulghar wheat parcels served with a tahini and yogurt sauce, fried onions and pomegranate along with rice. Both our dishes were as well cooked and flavoured as they were generous in their portions!
Other choices included a chicken and green olive tagine, a traditional stew made marinated chicken breast, baby carrots, lemons, green olives and spices, while an aubergine moussaka is available for those of a vegetarian disposition.
For pudding, the mouhalabia, a Lebanese milk pudding, served with confit of dried fruits, orange blossom water, was thankfully light as there wasn’t much space for much else after such a substantial feast…that was until the baklawa was brought out, a dessert made with pastry, nuts and doused in a honey syrup. Washed down with coffee these helped to round things off nicely.
Overall the quality of the food was delicious and very nicely done. Just be warned that when Comptoir Libanais say ‘feast’ they most certainly mean it!