jueves, 12 de junio de 2014

Comptoir Libanais Restaurant in London


This is a wildly popular Lebanese canteen, takeaway, deli and bright enterprise, filled with glitzy, colourful designs by Beirut designer Rana Salam. The combination of casual atmosphere, punchy looks and an above-average menu, makes this restaurant a business that works well, and the place is usually full.

Comptoir Libanais
- Address: 1-5 Exhibition Rd London, UK
- Venue phone: +44 20 7225 5006
- Opening hours: Meals served 7.30am - 10.30pm Mon-Sat; 7.30am - 10pm Sun
- Price: Main courses £5.95 - £8.45
- Web: www.lecomptoir.co.uk


Bom in Algeria. Tony came to London at 18 and opened his first restaurant In the West End at 22. The products you see on the shelves in Comptoir Libanais are all reminders of his childhood and culture, from harissa, loukoum (Turkish Delight), halwa and cous-cous to tagines and other Middle Eastern delicacies. They're all chosen with a keen eye for authenticity, as he wants to make the fragrant flavours of the Middle East available to everyone.

For Tony it’s not just the food, but the whole experience that really counts. The way he sees it “Comptoir Libanais is the kind of place that's sociable, where you discover new things and share them with your friends. Or you can just come by on your own and have a good-quality meal with no fuss. The welcome is as important as the food - it's relaxed and easy-going. Comptoir is a place for daily life, with simple dishes, full of flavour.”

Comptoir Libanais innovative menu has been developed in collaboration with Beirut-born Karim Haidar, the French TV chef and food writer behind a number of successful restaurants in London and Paris.

Tony Kitous – credited with putting the glamour into Middle Eastern cuisine at his Levant, Pasha and Kenza restaurants – now brings Lebanese home - style dishes to the High Street with his Comptoir Libanais canteens and delicatessens.

It’s an idea that’s been brewing in his mind for some time. As Tony says, “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. It’s food that’s affordable and easy to know – healthy, light and you can enjoy it every day of the week. Comptoir Libanais means Lebanesse counter and that’s exactly what it is: somewhere you can eat casually, with no fuss.”

The first Comptoir Libanais opened at Westfield Shopping Centre and now Tony’s brought his signature design style to the West End with the very contemporary ambiance at Wigmore Street. He says “I wanted to make it fresh and modern, yet welcoming all the same”, adding, “There’s a little touch of the souk, with embroidered handbags from Marrakech and ingredients to cook at home, but the ambience is light and airy. I want to see people enjoying the experience for a pot of mint tea with friends, a quick tabbouleh and hommos or a more leisurely evening meal. You don’t have to sacrifice comfort, style or authenticity of food just because the dining is casual."

Now Tony offers you the chance to create your own Lebanese cooking experiences: His Comptoir Libanais cookbook is out now! Why not try to bring Lebanese magic into your kitchen?


When you drop in to see them, they are not just about food. They have a souk-like attitude to providing whatever they can find that’s authentically Middle Eastern, as well as being fun and funky. Some people just come to them for their gorgeous hand-embroidered bags from Marrakech that you can use as handbags, shoppers or beach bags.

Their delicatessen section will tempt you with delicacies from throughout the Middle East, not just Lebanon. They have classic Pomegranate Syrup used to sweeten tagines, bright pink pickled turnips to brighten up your mezze and – of course – harissa, the chilli paste used to spice up any Middle Eastern recipe.

Chiclets is the brand of chewing gum that’s beloved of young and old throughout the Middle East. You can also stock up on grains like bulgar for tabbouleh and cous-cous for tagines or essential Middle Eastern spices like zaatar and sumac. If you have a sweet tooth, there’s plenty to choose from: nuts preserved in honey, pistachio-flavoured halva and Turkish Delight.

And if you need a little help with recipes, Tony's Comptoir Libanais cookbook is available now!


- History: The Lebanese cuisine is an ancient one and part of the Levantine cuisine, which include the Egyptian cuisine, Palestinian cuisine, Syrian cuisine,etc.

Many dishes in the Lebanese cuisine can be traced back to thousands of years to Roman, and even Phoenician times. For most of its recent past, Lebanon has been ruled by foreign powers that have influenced the types of food the Lebanese ate. From 1516 to 1918, the Ottoman Turks controlled Lebanon and introduced a variety of foods that have become staples in the Lebanese diet, such as cooking with lamb.

After the Ottomans were defeated in World War I (1914–1918), France took control of Lebanon until 1943, when the country achieved its independence. This time, the French introduced foods such as flan, a caramel custard dessert dating back to the 16th century, and buttery croissants.

- Lebanese cuisine: (Arabic: المطبخ اللبناني‎, "Levantine kitchen") includes an abundance of starches, whole grain, fruits, vegetables, fresh fish and seafood; animal fats are consumed sparingly. Poultry is eaten more often than red meat. When red meat is eaten it is usually lamb on the coast, and goat meat in the mountain regions. It also includes copious amounts of garlic and olive oil, often seasoned by lemon juice.; olive oil, herbs, garlic and lemon are typical flavors found in the Lebanese diet.

Most often foods are either grilled, baked or sautéed in olive oil; butter or cream is rarely used other than in a few desserts. Vegetables are often eaten raw or pickled as well as cooked. Herbs and spices are used and the freshness of ingredients is important. Like most Mediterranean countries, much of what the Lebanese eat is dictated by the seasons.

In Lebanon, very rarely are drinks served without being accompanied by food. Similar to the tapas of Spain, mezeluri of Romania, and antipasto of Italy, mezze is an array of small dishes placed before the guests creating an array of colors, flavors, textures and aromas. This style of serving food is less a part of family life than it is of entertaining and cafes. Mezze may be as simple as pickled vegetables or raw vegetables, hummus, baba ghanouj and bread, or it may become an entire meal consisting of grilled marinated seafood, skewered meats, a variety of cooked and raw salads and an arrangement of desserts.

Although simple fresh fruits are often served towards the end of a Lebanese meal, there is also dessert, such as baklava and coffee. Although baklava is the most internationally known dessert, Lebanese sweets have got a lot more to offer.

A typical mezze will consist of an elaborate variety of thirty hot and cold dishes and may include:

- Salads such as the tabbouleh and fattoush, together with dip such as hummus, baba ghanoush or moutabal, and kebbeh.
- Some patties such as the Sambusac.
- Stuffed grape leaves

Family cuisine offers also a range of dishes, such as stews or yakhnehs, which can be cooked in many forms depending on the ingredients used and are usually served with meat and rice vermicelli.

The Lebanese flat bread is a staple to every Lebanese meal and can be used to replace the usage of the fork.

Arak, an anise-flavored liqueur, is the Lebanese national alcoholic drink and is usually served with the traditional convivial Lebanese meals. Another drink is Lebanese wine.

Lebanese sweets include:

- Pastries such as baklava, Kaak, Sfouf and Maamoul.
- The Lebanese ice cream with its oriental flavors (Amar el Din made from dried apricot; fresh fruits; pistachio).
- The Lebanese roasted nuts with variety and mixes.

Some dishes are also specifically prepared on special occasions: the meghli dessert, for instance is served to celebrate a newborn baby in the family.


- Ackawi: white cheese salty or not depending on choice. Usually used in Manaeesh (Lebanese-style pies)
- Baba ghanouj: char-grilled aubergine (eggplant), tahina, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic puree—served as a dip.
- Baklava: a dessert of layered filo pastry filled with nuts and steeped in Attar syrup (orange or rose water and sugar) or honey, usually cut in a triangular or diamond shape that originates in Lebanon.
- Roasted nuts: a mix of more than 20 kinds and flavors of kernels, mostly dry roasted.
- Balila: known as cumin chickpeas.
- Barout del batata: spicy lamb served with potatoes
- Batata harra: literally "spicy potatoes".
- Chich Taouk: grilled chicken marinated with garlic lemon and various oriental spices (cinnamon, cumin..)
- Daoud Bacha: meatballs with tomato sauce
- Djaj Mechwi: grilled chicken with peas
- Fattoush: 'peasant' salad of toasted pita bread, cucumbers, tomatoes, chickweed, and mint.
- Falafel: small deep-fried patties made of highly spiced ground chickpeas.
- Fried cauliflower
- Fried eggplant
- Ftayer: a turnover pastry, often made with sbanegh (spinach)
- Fuul (vicia faba) slow cooked mash of brown beans and red lentils dressed with lemon, olive oil and cumin.
- Halva: sesame paste sweet, usually made in a slab and studded with fruit and nuts.
- Hummus: dip or spread made of blended chickpeas, sesame tahini, lemon juice, and garlic, and typically eaten with pita bread.
- Kunafi: either shoelace pastry dessert stuffed with sweet white cheese, nuts and syrup, or more commonly the version with semolina pastry served on a sesame seed bun with sweet sugar syrup (very popular for breakfast) made with " angel hair" butter and pistachios or nuts. Generally these can be found in sweet shops, as well as bigger bakeries.
- Kibbeh: mainly stuffed, can be made in different forms including fried, uncooked, and cooked with yogurt.
- Kibbeh nayyeh: raw kibbeh eaten like steak tartar.
- Kafta: fingers, stars or a flat cake of minced meat and spices that can be baked or charcoal-grilled on skewers.
- Kousa Mahshi: stuffed zucchini, many varieties are used.
- Kubideh: served with pivaz (a mix of minced parsley, onions, ground cumin and sumac).
- Labneh: strained yogurt, spreadable and garnished with good olive oil and sea salt.
- Znood Es-sett: filo pastry cigars with various fillings.
- Lahm bil ajĩn: a pastry covered with minced meat, onions, and nuts.
- Ma'amoul: cake made from semolina with date, pistachio or walnut filled cookies shaped in a wooden mould called a tabi made specially for Christian (traditionally Easter) and Muslim holidays (such as Ramadan).
- Mfaraket Koussa: spicy zucchini
- Makdous: stuffed eggplant in olive oil.
- Manaeesh: Mini pizzas (usually folded) that are made in any number of local bakeries or Furns, traditionally garnished with cheese, Za'atar, spicy diced tomatoes, kashk in its Lebanese version, or minced meat and onions. Some bakeries allow you to bring your own toppings and build your own or buy the ones they sell there. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. (Lebanese style pies)
- Mujaddara (imjaddarra): cooked lentils together with wheat or rice, garnished with onions that have been sauteed in vegetable oil.
- Mulukhiyah: A stew with mallow leaves, chicken, beef, and in the Lebanese fashion, topped with raw chopped onions, and vinegar over rice. It sometimes has toasted pita chips under the rice.
- Mutabbel: a mix of slow cooked eggplant and tahini.
- Pastirma: Tender cooked meat, usually served with vegetables.
- Qatayef: a sort of sweet dumpling filled with cream or nuts.
- Qawarma: chopped lamb, salted and kept in the grease of the animal
- Samkeh Harra: grilled fish that has been marinated with chili, citrus, and cilantro
- Shanklish: aged cheese balls
- Shawarma: marinated meat (either chicken or lamb) that is skewered on big rods and cooked slowly, then shaved and placed in a 10 inch pita roll with pickles, tomatoes, and other tangy condiments.
- Shish taouk: grilled chicken skewers that utilize only white meat, marinated in olive oil, lemon, parsley, and sumac.
- Siyyadiyeh: delicately spiced fish served on a bed of rice. Fish cooked in saffron and served on rice with onions, sumac, and a tahini sauce (the most important part of the dish) originated in the southern areas of Lebanon.
- Tabbouleh: diced parsley salad with burghul, tomato and mint.
- Tahini: sesame paste
- Toum: garlic sauce
- Wara' Enab: stuffed grape leaves
- Za'atar: dried thyme, sesame seeds and sumac that can differ from region to region and from family to family. Most are made in house, but can be bought at Lebanese larders.
- Lebanese Spice Blend: a mixture of equal parts of allspice, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, fenugreek, nutmeg and ginger. It is commonly used to flavor many Lebanese dishes.

1 comentario:

  1. lebanese cuisine is the oldestand the richest.. tabbouleh fattouch , hommus , manaquish, fatteh , all kind of cheese , like halloum , labneh, akkawi , chanklish are exclusively lebanese ( not syrian nor palestinian nor israeli )