Food and drink
Middle Eastern tagines (stews), mezze (small plates) and wraps, with a great range of soft drinks (fruit juices, home-made lemonades in different refreshing flavours) and light, French-influenced pastries. Flavours are big and portions reasonable for the price, if not huge. Everything's available to take away.
Hard to go wrong, but I've really enjoyed the lamb and prune tagine with organic rice, peas, sweet potato and toasted almonds with a sharp, fresh-tasting roomana (pomegranate and orange blossom lemonade, served with a sprig of mint). And I can never resist the sweet pastries: try a cream-filled znoud.
Enjoyably informal, with cutlery in recycled harissa paste tins and a steady stream of local workers and shoppers dropping in for takeaway or to tap on their iPhones over a snatched lunch. The décor is Pop Art cheerful, with an oversize painting of movie star Sirine Jamal al Dien dominating the restaurant area at the back, and swirling Lebanese music to get you in the mood.
Young, brisk and cheerful. Can be a little short at busy times, but will be all smiles again a second later.
A block off Oxford Street, Comptoir Libanais is perfectly situated for foot-weary shoppers, close to St Christopher’s Place, the boutiques of Marylebone and Selfridges and the department stores of Oxford Street. Those with a taste for culture are close to the fine paintings and armour at the Wallace Collection and stunning concert venue the Wigmore Hall, for classical music.
A main, a pastry for afters and a big glass of home-made lemonade will cost around £12. If you’ve got somewhere else to eat (perhaps a picnic in Regent’s Park, 10 minutes’ walk to the north), the food is quite a lot cheaper to take away: my tagine was £7.45, but would have cost £5.25 to go.
Tables to book
There are no reservations, but look to perch on a stool at the tiny, tall tables near the counter if you're by yourself - there are plenty of distractions there with staff bustling around and counter orders going in, plus you've a great view of the different dishes. Otherwise, the more normal café layout at the back, a step down beyond the serving area, is quieter and gives you more room.
- Backpackers / Students
- Families with teenagers