Liban Tapas – a Lebanese terrace like no other

With the clocks changing this weekend and the days getting lighter, it’s a perfect time to visit Liban Tapas in South Woodford. As well as offering delicious Lebanese cuisine, they also have an amazing large Parisian-style terrace behind the new restaurant, which offers a tranquil space away from the hustle and bustle of the High Street.

Liban Tapas offers a 150-cover in its beautiful restaurant. Walk through the grand entrance lined with lush plants, and enter the stylish and spacious venue with middle-eastern inspired lamps, tiles and décor. Comfortable banquettes wrap around the restaurant whilst soft teal booths are perfect for groups. The elegant marble tables below the glass roofed Sunroom are a charming place to sit during the day and enjoy a healthy wrap for lunch or meet for a coffee with friends.

Liban’s menus cater for vegetarians, vegans, and those who are gluten-free or follow a halal diet. As the name suggests, this is a tapas style mezze place, so order a few dishes. Definitely order the homemade falafel and hummus, they’re made freshly for each service. The grilled halloumi, stuffed vine leaves (stuffed with rice, tomato and parsley) and patata harra (spicy fried potatoes with coriander, chilli and lemon juice) are all not to be missed either. Neither is a classic tabbouleh salad.

All meats are sourced from the finest Halal supplier and are grilled over charcoal for a delicious smoky flavour. There are several mouthwatering options for meat lovers, from the kofta (sausage-shaped minced lamb) to shish taouk (charcoal grilled marinated chicken), but the nod for me is the soujok. Absolutely delicious spicy sausages in butter and lemon. If you love chorizo then you’ll love this.

Owner Emilio Malik prioritises the sourcing of authentic ingredients from Lebanon such as the very best spices, tahini, olive oil and labneh. Emilio also works closely with London’s established Lebanese community and uses the best local Lebanese bakers and butchers.

Finish off with a traditional fresh mint tea and homemade Baklava. If you’ve got room still for dessert then the Chocolate Fudge Cake, the more traditional Muhalbiyah, a Middle Eastern rose-scented milk pudding, and Kunafeh, an Arab pastry soaked in sweet syrup, layered with cheese and dusted in pistachio nuts should all satisfy that sweet tooth.

Heaters and cosy woven rugs make the terrace a snug retreat when there’s a chill in the air. But now that are days are beginning to warm up, the Liban Tapas terrace – I’m certain – will be a hot spot for its debut summer. So gather your mates and head there for cocktails such as the Lebanese Gimlet, a vodka-based cocktail with strawberry purée, and South Woodford, Bombay Sapphire, Lychee Juice and Syrup and Lemongrass, before or after your meal.

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