A taste of Lebanon
A few weeks back, I was invited to Crocker’s Folly to experience their traditional Lebanese style dining. Upon entering, I was amazed at the beautiful chandeliers, wooden paneling, and gold-coated interior; it was truly a beautiful sight.
Opened in the mid-1890’s Frank Crocker originally decided to turn the building into a hotel. However, despite being a true entrepreneur, this venture did not come to be as fruitful as Crocker anticipated, which later lead to Crocker’s demise, hence the restaurant being called Crocker’s Folly. In 2004, the restaurant was acquired by the Maroush group and was reinvented as Crocker’s Folly, which they are sure Mr. Crocker would be proud!
Traditional Maroush Hummus
The menu had such variety that initially I was spoilt for choice, however, the headwaiter suggested a mixture of dishes to try. For starters, I opted for the traditional Maroush hummus. There was no way; I was about to enter a Lebanese restaurant without trying their traditional Hummus! Which is made of chickpea puree, sesame paste, and lemon juice, and is served with freshly baked warm pitta bread.
Next to be served were the king prawns; pan king prawns topped with pine nuts and chilli. The prawns are thoroughly marinated and seasoned well, as the flavour can be tasted throughout the prawns. A great tip, I would suggest is squeezing the lemon all over the prawns for an added burst of flavour.
Bastorma Carpaccio with rocket
I am a huge fan of Carpaccio of any kind, therefore when the beef Carpaccio was presented I did feel like all my dreams had come true and were in heaven, especially as it so aesthetically pleasing. The Carpaccio is thinly sliced Bastorma smoked beef fillet, which is marinated with special spices and served with rocket and fresh olive oil. Once again, Folly did not disappoint with the flavour, this is every Carpaccio addict’s dream as the special spices liven the beef with flavour. The texture of the beef is chewy but soft, and despite being with a guest, and this dish is best shared, I decided to have the Carpaccio to myself. I would say it is a must try dish from the menu as it is quite filling and it was my favourite.
Due to my allergies, I could not eat the grilled Halloumi cheese, however, my guest did try the Halloumi and said it was better than Nandos, and everyone loves Nandos Halloumi cheese. All jokes aside, she described the cheese as soft and dewy but with a rubber texture, well seasoned with a hint of spice. I was one of the best Halloumi cheeses that she has had.
Jawaneh chicken wings
One thing I, of course, can eat is chicken wings, so I was here for the Jawaneh, which are charcoal grilled marinated wings served with garlic sauce. As the wings are a bit on the spicy side, the garlic sauce is perfect, as it aids in giving the wings a more savoury/sour taste. However, I will add that the wings do not taste charcoal grilled and the portion is quite small, so it is better to get this dish for one rather than to share. As usual, I ended up being a greedy diner and eating the majority of the wings!
As if there were not enough options already, Soujok was finally brought to the table, which are homemade Lebanese spicy sausages, sautéed in tomato sauce. Squeezing a lemon over the Soujok, allowing the lemon juice to drizzle over the sausages and entwine with the tomato sauce is my tip to you. The lemon juice aids in bringing out the flavours, as this dish is full of flavour. The sausages are a little harder than usual but overall this is a must-have dish!
Finally, to clean my palette was a plate of fruit, serving all my favourites, Watermelon, Kiwi, Pineapple, Melon, and Strawberries. As a lot of spices and flavours were ingested the fruit aided in neutralising my stomach.
Overall, the food was great and positively full of flavour. I loved that Folly’s serve traditional Lebanese food, as it is one of my favourite cuisines, alongside Nigerian and Japanese. The staffs are also Lebanese, which is appreciated, as the staff had vast knowledge of the culture and cuisine in depth, and were able to talk through the dishes.
What to wear: Casual (I wore a leather jacket and jeans)
Ambience: Beautiful décor and knowledgeable staff