SquareMeal Review of
Abd el Wahab
Founded in Beirut in 1999 and now with 18 restaurants in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Bahrain, Qatar and Cairo, cosmopolitan Abd el Wahab should do well with the Middle Eastern clientele who call Belgravia home through the summer months.
All the classic mezze are present and correct: salty halloumi, hummus with or without lamb and pine nuts, spicy little sojok sausages, meat-stuffed pastries – although we found that much of what we ate lacked the robustly defined flavours of the best Lebanese cooking, and arrived lukewarm to boot. Our best dish, a wonderfully pungent salad of aged goat’s cheese with onion and parsley, doused in olive oil, suggests that taking the route less well-travelled may be the way to get the most from the kitchen.
To follow, there are variations on grilled chicken and lamb, prawns and fish, plus pastries for pud, but we were too stuffed from the mezze to go any further. And for a dining room that was far from busy, service could have been a lot more attentive. London isn’t well served with upmarket Lebanese restaurants, and with some refining of flavours and fine-tuning of service, this smart newcomer could do well.