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Noura Central - Great Lebanese Food in London

Noura Central
122 Jermyn Street
London SW1
Tel: 020 7839 2020

Fashion and trends are forever changing, currently it seems that the grazing menu is all the rage in London’s celebrated dining rooms. This approach to eating however has always been de rigueur in the Middle East. Noura, a slick Lebanese institution right in the heart of the capital, has a wealth of dishes to try in the form of the Mezze. Here you can eat to your hearts content on a fabulous array of hot and cold dishes without denting your wallet too alarmingly whilst enjoying the relaxed and affable atmosphere.

The large restaurant is busy and bustling at the front, giving way to a much more laid back, relaxed atmosphere at the rear. The interior is an eclectic mix of tastes with the dining room decorated in muted colours - predominately grey and ochre with subtle lighting and soft music. Banquette seating with comfortable cushions in a myriad of colours complete the opulence.

Lebanese food really has something for everyone and vegetarians are well looked after here, however there is plenty for carnivores as well. We ordered a range of hot and cold Mezze dishes from the list which had over 40 different choices. Our selection included Samke Harra, a really tasty fish ratatouille with hot red and green peppers, onion and a kick of coriander. Sawdat Djaj, piquant and lemony marinated tender chicken livers flambéed in lemon and garlic. Light pastry rissoles with lamb and pine kernels or a mild cheese interior, and tasty flambéed sausages, (with maybe a touch too much lemon for my palate), before rounding things off with a pungent, fresh on the palate, tabbouleh salad. With this we drank the house Lebanese wine, a Chateaux Ksara blanc de blancs. It was very fresh and light, crisp and dry in flavour with a clean and sharp finish and a good choice with our food, reasonably priced at £24 a bottle.

If you still feel hungry there is a whole range of main course dishes to tempt you. We shared a plate of king prawns with a coriander and tomato sauce served with rice, which whilst being perfectly pleasant did not stand out as being on a par with some of the Mezze. For dessert we had a little taste of a couple of dishes including a wonderful selection of ices - chocolate and strawberry, and achta, a milky sweet cheese mixed with pistachio nuts and melon. Some melt in the mouth Baklawa pastries concluded our feasting.

Noura Central is a great place for a quick snack or a relaxed dinner, its location, (with its entrance actually on Lower Regent Street) also makes it perfectly situated for a pre or post theatre bite with last orders served up well after 11pm.

Louise Elgin. February 2008.
Dinner with wine and water is about £35 a head.
Other branches are located in Belgravia, Mayfair and Knightsbridge.


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