Last Updated on August 31, 2021
Lebanese Food Re-imagined in Paddington
It’s been exciting to watch London reinvent itself over the last few years with new quartiers springing up such as Coal Drop Yards and the redevelopment of Victoria and Aldgate. A major new destination is the buzzing Paddington Central development and it is here in Sheldon Square that Lebanese restaurant Massis sits, just a stone’s throw from the station and round the corner from the canals and oh-so-chic houses of Little Venice.
Massis is situated perfectly for local residents and office workers. But it also provides a great starting or endpoint for people exploring the canal on one of the most atmospheric walks in the capital.
This is Massis’ 12th year in business and it has just reopened after lockdown with an exciting refurbishment and a new ‘social eating’ menu.
The interior features a dark wooden floor, attractive hanging copper lamps and trippy lava lamp wallpaper. On warm days there are bi-fold doors that open up the whole of the restaurant frontage to the square giving it a wonderfully airy feel.
On a beautiful summer’s day, there is nothing better to start with than cocktails. A well-mixed classic Mojito – White Rum, Lime Juice, Sugar Syrup and Mint Leaf – was excitingly effervescent. Rather non-alcoholic Pine Passion – Pineapple Juice, Lemon Juice, Passion Fruit Syrup, Coconut Syrup, Coconut Puree, Passion Fruit Puree – was Sweet and refreshing. Perfect for a summer’s evening.
We started with some small plates. A very moreish dish of Batata Harrah – sauteed potatoes with mixed peppers, garlic and chilli – came with a smoky mayo dip. I could have eaten these all day!
Cheese Sambousek was a platter of Lebanese pastries stuffed with halloumi, feta and parsley. These moist nuggets had a delicious shortcrust pastry and a satisfyingly cheesy minty interior. Our 3rd small plate was a Fattoush Salad. it’s one of my favourite Lebanese dishes and this classic iteration didn’t disappoint. A collation of tomato, cucumber, onion, radish and mint was finished with crispy bread. The salad zinged with flavour and the crunch of bread gave a pleasing textural contrast to the veg.
Having enjoyed our cocktails we moved on to the dry citrus notes of an organic bottle of Novas Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc from the San Antonio Valley in Chile. It was a great match with the spice and herbs featured in the cooking.
Massis has an enticing looking grill menu. A marinated and grilled 1/2 chicken came with a garlicky, creamy homemade slaw. The chicken was moist and soft with the delicious flavour of the char coming through. Sitting on little flatbreads, the tender, grilled marinated octopus was served with a chimichurri sauce and a homemade avocado and spinach dip. It’s hard to cook octopus properly and the kitchen aced it!
You have to try the Massis Lebanese churros. Hot fried dough fingers are doused in honey and chocolate sauce. It’s fattening but sometimes you just have to. I’d like to say that the Baklava was a healthy option but I can’t so I won’t. It all got eaten up…
I’ll be returning to Paddington to explore the canals and you might just see me trying some more of the churros! But if you are in the neighbourhood it’s a fab place to drop into for a snack, a drink or a meal.
9 Sheldon Square,
+44 20 7286 8000
Looking for something different? We can also recommend Hankies Indian Restaurant, a short walk away in Westbourne Terrace