Lazeez Restaurant – Lebanese Hospitality in London:
My first full-time permanent job was as a Management Trainee for Selfridges. Needless to say, I spent a lot of time socialising around Oxford Street: The Lamb and Flag was a regular haunt after work, and the Stockpot was a favourite for a cheap meal. Other than that, there weren’t many great places to eat within my budget. St Christopher’s Place had just opened and hadn’t really established itself as a handy destination for dining away from the madness of Oxford Street. There was certainly nothing like Lazeez, a Lebanese restaurant which offers a selection of ‘tapas style’ sharing plates, or I’d have been there.
It was a great coincidence that the invitation to try Lazeez Lebanese Restaurant coincided with the weekend that the woman I used to flat-share with when I worked at Selfridges was visiting with her 15-year-old daughter from their farm in Devon. It was a great chance to reminisce about our younger days whilst dining near my old workplace.
After an enjoyable day of shopping in Argyll Street, Carnaby Street, and spending hours in Top Shop (it can’t be avoided with a 15 year old!) we were more than ready for a sit down and to have a bite to eat, before heading to Regent’s Park to see Little Shop of Horrors at the Open Air Theatre.
We were warmly welcomed with a refreshing mint and lemon drink for Amy and a glass of Lebanese white wine for the tired mums! I was very impressed with the wine, I have had Lebanese red wine previously, but not white which we thought not dissimilar to a Chablis. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to sit at one of the pretty outside tables, as other customers were enjoying smoking hookahs, making the tables designated smoking areas where we were unable to sit with a minor. It gave us the opportunity to watch one of the chefs in action though.
We were told by the owner that everything is made entirely in-house, with houmous being freshly made several times a day, and the falafels every couple of hours. We asked the manager to chose a selection of the tapas dishes for us, which of course had to feature both the falafels and the houmous. The latter was incredibly smooth and almost creamy, a far cry from the stuff to be found on supermarket shelves.
Small spicy sausages called Soujok appeared – a big hit with all of us. To be honest, by this point we’d probably eaten enough, but there was much more still to come!
We were then brought a mixed grill of steak, chicken, and lamb kebab. All of which was delicately seasoned, moist and tender. I was quite pleased with myself that I correctly identified a sprinkling of sumac on the accompanying potatoes.
The grilled meats were accompanied by a grilled halloumi salad with pomegranate seeds and some delicious halloumi fries.
Fearful that we might fall asleep during the musical, we braved the ultra strong coffee, brewed in the traditional way. It was delicious and kept us going for the rest of the evening.
We left feeling very full, and with a ‘doggy bag’ that fed three people for lunch the next day!
So if you are near Oxford Street and fancy something fresh, flavorful, and a little different Lazeez is worth the 2 minutes walk up Duke Street. They also have a unit in Croydon Boxpark, so next time we are at the’ best bus stop in Croydon’ (the Cronx bar), I shall be paying it a visit.
Disclaimer: We were guests of Lazeez
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