There’s no better place to award my first review to than to the truly amazing Meza in Tooting Bec.
A quick background: Lebanese tapas as I like to call it. Tucked away on Trinity street in Tooting Bec SW17, Meza can only seat 17 people at any one time and the kitchen is basically part of the restaurant (with 3 out of the 17 seats being on a bar that looks into it)
Bookings are hard to get and they have 2 sittings every evening, one at 7pm and one at 9pm.
The food is just unreal, you can tell that the chefs are well experienced and take great care in their work – which can be hard to come by with Lebanese food!
I have visited Meza near on 10 times now so it is probably easiest if I give you a run down of my favourite dishes (and if you have any sense you will be sure to order these when you visit)..
Hummus Awarma (hummus with walnuts and diced lamb)
The walnuts and the small amount of diced lamb contrast the hummus perfectly. I find hummus can be a little sickly/rich sometimes (especially if ‘home made’) but the addition of the walnuts and diced lamb balances the flavours perfectly – great for a starter…and a main…and to pick at when your done actually.
Grilled Kallaj (melted Haloumi in flatbread)
I’d suggest 1 serving for 2 people as this is so delicious (me and my friends always get 1 per person but that could be seen as greedy). Absolutely no squeak on the Haloumi and just the perfect amount of melting – the bread is so light you can eat bowl after bowl and still be ready to conquer your main! (Honestly, this could be my most favourite thing in the world)
A falafel made properly! Suitable for gluten free-ers, these falafels are made pan fried crushed pine nuts and no flour. Very delicious and give you a real taste for the authentic middle eastern flavours.
This is perfect when you can’t choose which meat to go for. Particularly good dish if there is a party of 2, 3 or 4. It covers all of the best meats and the portion size is great.
Soujouk (Garlic and chilli lamb sausages)
Beautiful ‘mini’ sausages with the right kick, they compliment the otherwise non-spicy foods that I find take over this menu (I’m not complaining though, I annoyingly can’t ever tolerate the mild at Nando’s. I am working on this though!)
The service can be a little slow at times but the staff are always so cheery and happy to assist. The staff here are always honest and tell you if you have ordered too much food – that is one thing I love in a restaurant and can be hard to come across.
Both the white and the red wine are house Lebanese wines. The red is so so tasty (better than the white I feel and I am normally a white drinker) One bottle will cost you £15 think it may be £17 now though?), a
price that will make any hangover a little more bareable. If you prefer to drink by the glass the prices are still great. Also, they don’t tend to measure out their glasses – meaning you always get a little more than expected! (N.B. Pouring wine into a metal measuring thing before it goes into your glass is one of my pet hates – bluegh!)
When combining the cost, service, quality of food, quality of wine and authenticity of the menu/venue, I think I can go as far as saying this is my favourite restaurant. (!!!) I am never, ever(!) disappointment and my bank balance is always happy enough after a visit there!
See, there we are, taking up half of the restaurant
WHERE: 34 Trinity Road, London, SW17 7RE
WHEN: I last went about a year ago *sad face*…I lived in Tooting for almost 2 years and went around once a month. I am hoping to visit soon (after my move east!) and will update with new points when this happens..
A handy link to the menu online…http://www.zomato.com/london/meza-tooting/menu