12th September 2010

Safadi Lebanese Express

113 High Holborn, London WC1, UK

One sometimes finds authenticity in unexpected places, and despite its air of efficient modernity one eats very well at the Safadi. The favva beans in the ful are cooked to the point of disintegrating, the pieces of soft falafel, of the kind shaped like cupcakes,  come with lemony tahini, pickles, tomato and shredded lettuce, and the parsley in the tabouleh is so fresh it seems to have come straight from the garden. But the outstanding dish is the fattoush, in which a large plate of tomatoes, lettuce, green capsicum, cucumber and bread has had poured over it a brown liquid that turns out to be pomegranate juice, which gives the dish an unexpected but utterly appealing sweet edge. The supply of bread is plentiful, the complementary olives are welcome, and while there is no alcohol the still lemonade and freshly squeezed orange juice complement the strong tastes of the food superbly. The speed of the service fully accords with the name of the restaurant, and the vegetarian dishes on the menu are very reasonably priced. I recommend the Safadi without hesitation!

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