My admiration for Lebanese food comes from its huge influence at Brazilian culinary. As far as I know, the Arab immigrants brought the flavours of Middle Eastern food to Brazil in the 20th century.
We feel hard for their food, and since then we have adapted Arabic recipes for many years to come up with our versions of tabbouleh and kubbas (which we call them tabule and Kibe in Portuguese).
Yes, I do love Lebanese food, as you can see. So, when my friend Gabriella asked me to choose a place to eat in Birmingham in our annual casual meeting up, I had no doubts Comptoir Libanais would be a good match.
I have tried, without success, booking a table in this restaurant before. It was Christmas time, I know, but the whole process of waiting to get it sorted out took a little bit longer than expected.
To be honest, it was so frustrating that I thought not visiting this place anymore. But you know, my love for Lebanese food made me a give it a second chance.
So, here we were. In a week day with no table reserved trying my luck again! This time, the restaurant was fairly empty, and it was easy to find that dreamt table, of course.
We were quickly accommodated by a quite friendly waitress. I have to say I always loved the vibrant decor at Comptoir Libanais with all colourful furniture, and quirky memorabilia. It’s inquisitive, exotic, and unique.
Yes, it’s a chain and I believe their restaurants look all the same. But at least, its food display, copper and stainless-steel coffee pots, mosaic tiles and coloured bags bring a good vibe to the place. It’s just a joy!
The menu is filled with what you expect from typical and traditional Lebanese cuisine; hummus, falafels, koftas and tagines. Yummy!
We both went for the Falafel – Chickpea & broad bean pate, coriander, parsley, garlic & peppers, served with tahina sauce and a selection of pickles – picked cucumber, turnips in beetroot juice & mild green chillies.
My friend also asked for an extra side Batata Harras – Lebanese spiced potatoes with fresh coriander, garlic and chilli.
This is the beauty of Lebanese food. Everything was so fresh and tasty that you can be tempted to ask as much as possible. I have saved myself for desserts because it was a special date to celebrate, as my friend Gabriella is applying for her British citizenship.
Hungarians and Brazilians celebrating it with a festive Middles Eastern food in Britain. That’s what diversity is about! So, why not cheers to this with a couple of Roomana Lemonades – with pomegranate and orange blossom. (Gabby was driving, you know).
For dessert, we went for the cakes displayed. They looked delicious! I went for the Mango & Vanilla Cheesecake –vanilla cheesecake topped with a layer of sweet mango.
Meanwhile, Gabby asked for a Dark Chocolate & Red Rose Berries Cake (gf) – dark chocolate with orange & cardamom cake with mixed red berries compote & natural sour yogurt.
Overall, food was excellent at Comptoir Libanais. The staff was incredibly friendly. Plus, the vibe and concept of this restaurant make me reaffirm my love for Lebanese cuisine. It’s a true gem!