I’ve eaten a lot of fabulous Lebanese and Persian food over the last few months, so an invitation to Randa by Maroush, in Kensington Church Street, made me determined to indulge in something other than the staple Middle Eastern fare of grilled lamb and chicken. So, after perusing the menu with a thirst quenching ice cold Almaza Lebanese beer, I settled on a traditional mixed mezze, followed by some seafood.
There were a variety of both European and New World wines on offer, but I always like to go native when i can so I ordered a bottle of the Lebanese Rose. The Chateau Ksara form The Bekka Valley, £19.00 proved to be rather excellent value; a nose of red fruit, elegant and crisp with a hint of spiciness in the mouth made this a perfect match to the seafood on a sultry summer evening.
The full table of starters, was worthy of a scene from Balthazar’s Feast; dish after dish of beautifully presented food contributed to a spread of biblical proportions. Moutabal Baba Ghanouj, Grilled aubergine purée mixed with sesame paste, and lemon, £5.75. Tabbouleh, tomato, fresh mint, onion, cracked wheat, lemon juice and an olive oil dressing, £5.75. Mouhamara, mixed Mediterranean spicy nuts with olive oil, £6.50. Battata Harra and fried vegetables, £5.50. Jawaeh, charcoal grilled chicken wings served with a garlic sauce, £6.00. Hommos, £5.50. All were generous portions but the stand out for me was the Mouamara; Nutty, spicy and full of flavour perfect with the fresh baked flat bread and washed down with the rose wine.
For the main course I ordered the butterfly grilled prawns served with the chef’s special spicy sauce, £18.00 along with the grilled sea bass, with a tahini sauce, £18.00. The prawns were glorious; succulent and slightly charred, every one was a decadent juicy delight. The sea bass was superb too, crunchy outside, soft inside and againm like all their dishes, beautifully presented. The freshness of the crisp accompanying vegetables and salads was remarkable and a definite signature of all Maroush restaurants I have visited in London.
I generally find Lebanese desserts a little too sweet for my taste but I did, however, manage to try the rather good Lebanese rice pudding. Rich and creamy with a hint of cinnamon a perfect finish..
Superb, slick service and generous portions, just what you would expect from the high
standards of a Maroush group restaurant. Such a giant feast and terrific service; you will never leave Randa feeling hungry. Look
out for their ‘Randa’ specials including Business Lunch Platter;
selection of six starters with a choice of the dish of the day, mixed
shawarma or two skewers of mixed grill for just £18.00. I went home with two big doggy bags that fed me for two days.