A TASTE OF LEBANON AT CEDARS, LEICESTER
CEDARS LEBANESE CUISINE
Cedars Lebanese Restaurant located in the thriving West End of Leicester, nestled amongst the melting pot of international flavours has long been a favourite of Lebanese friends. It was high time that I sampled the authentic food of the Eastern Mediterranean.
Cedars prides itself on hospitality and customer service and this is evident from the moment you walk through the beautiful doors and into the beautiful old building. The checkered original floor against the rustic wooden accents and the most photogenic rustic banistered staircase stands before you.
Smiles greeted us as we were led upstairs to be seated to our window view. Our waitress was quick to go through the menu with us as she learnt this was our first visit! Immediately, I was impressed with the vegetarian options and had my eye on a few favourites that my Lebanese friend, Rania had introduced me to!
When it came to drinks, we decided to try the Lebanese wine and with the red awaiting a delivery, we chose a light Lebanese Rose, which actually went very well with what we were about to order. It had a fruity and fresh aroma, which pairs well with the lightly spiced food. As well as an array of beverages to choose form Cedars also have a Lebanese lager!
Whilst we scoured the menu, we were bought a trio of seasoned olives, garlic dip and a spicy dip. To accompany these came with a basket of warm Lebanese flat bread.
I was wanting to eat a selection of different vegetarian dishes so opted to have three hot mezzes (starter style dishes), which included Falafel, Batata Harra and Sambousek cheese. Whereas Dr C opted for a main dish of chicken and lamb Shawarm.
The falafel were perfectly crisp on the outside and contained broad beans, chickpeas coriander, red pepper and Lebanese mixed spices. A delicate flavour, which was enhanced by the Tahini dip. I have to conquer that these seriously are some of the best Falafels I’ve tried.
Batata Harra are small cubes of potato served with garlic, onions, chilli, coriander and peppers. They are reminiscent of crispy fried breakfast potatoes but with added seasoning. The waitress advised us that the potatoes go well with the garlic dip and she was right, of course!
The Sambousek Cheese was one of my favourite dishes and consisted of small fried light pastry parcels, filled with feta and halloumi cheese, onions and parsley. Again these are not greasy or heavy and melt in your mouth. They came accompanied with a simple side salad.
Now for Dr C’s mixed Sharwarm. This included slices of marinaded lamb and chicken roasted and served alongside a traditional flatbread, a side of rice, garlic sauce and a salad. I was informed that the meat was cooked perfectly and flavoured beautifully. The subtle flavours really did bring the dish together well.
When we heard there was Baklava and Mamoul on the dessert list we had to try it. We were so glad we did as the baklava was as authentic as it comes, delicious nutty and syrup coated. Mamoul is a traditional Arabic semolina pastry filled with dates, pistachios or walnuts. Beautiful flavours, which went very well with fresh mint tea
Be-lavie concludes Cedars and this short introduction to authentic Lebanese cuisine was a hit! Yes we loved it and will definitely be going back. Delicious food and exceptional service. Just to note the staff are very attentive and happy to help with suggestions and portion sizes. They will even go through what should be eaten with, which dip and sauces.
Choose Cedars as you will definitely feel like you’ve taken a little part of Lebanon with you.
Are you a fan of Lebanese food?
Cedars Lebanese Restaurant
2 Narborough Road (Corner of Braunstone Gate)
Leicester. LE3 0BQ
Tel. 0116 251 9057
You can book via Cedars website at http://www.cedarslebaneserestaurant.co.uk/