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Square Meal Review of Al Hamra ?

Trapped in the gastro-bubble of newly revitalised Shepherd Market, this unchanging bastion of Lebanese culinary tradition now seems a tad anachronistic. The menu is an inexhaustible, 100-strong selection of hot & cold mezze standards that yields bankable takes on baba gannouj, hoummos, falafel, tabbouleh & kibbeh, supported by a grill with real charcoal, meat-led mains showcasing at least 20 ways with lamb, & daily supplies of fresh fish – although you can always veer off the predictable path with a plate of lamb’s testicles or some chopped raw lamb with bulgur wheat. Kindly priced Château Musar, award-winning window-box blooms, & outdoor seating add some extra sheen to Al Hamra’s solidly sound cooking – although painful cover charges, surly service & acres of patterned felt are in definite need of sprucing up.

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