A long room where the eye is drawn to the flames of the charcoal grill, Mezza Luna offers a menu influenced by both Lebanese and Moroccan traditions. And if that sounds unusual, then perhaps uniquely among the grill houses on City Road, there is alcohol on offer. I tried a crisp Lebanese Almaza pilsener. My wife’s designated driver Virgin mojito was very well rated.
From the mezze menu, hot crisp-shelled kibbeh break open to reveal spiced minced lamb. Hummus is powerfully garlicky; we have a brief but informative chat about the finer points of making hummus daily, when the strength of different batches of garlic and lemons is so variable. This serving certainly packs a potent punch.
Mouttabal, cousin to baba ghanouj, has a properly deep, rich smokiness, and is served here studded with pomegranate seeds. There’s plenty of toasted flatbread to go round.
F’ul moukala- broad beans fried in garlic and olive oil- is a fresh way to present my favourite vegetable and provide some virtuous greenery among all the meats.
The chicken in our shish taouks is excellent. It’s paired with toum-a pungently garlicky paste- which is seriously breath-troubling and all the better for it.
Next, an experiment. A duck shawarma is superb from first mouthful to last; breast has been marinated and roasted until almost all of the fat renders away, leaving tiny slivers of crisp skin to be mixed in with dense meat. Just before serving, it’s laced with pomegranate molasses for a hint of citrus tang.
This deserves to be a regular on the menu. It makes you wonder why nowhere else locally is serving this, and make you want to applaud Mezza Luna for thinking this one up: I’ll be a guinea pig every of the week for food like this. A Giant Duck-Eating Guinea Pig, which sounds like one of those ultra-low budget things you get on the SyFy channel late at night.
‘Andalusian tagine’ is a mix of long grain rice, mussels, prawns and squid- a take on a cross between a tagine and a paella which should grate against my Iberian genes but which actually works rather well; the rice is fluffy and long-grain rather than the traditional Calasparra or Bomba and the mussels, squid and prawns are faultlessly done.
We are in no shape for desserts- portion sizes are hearty, here- but take some baklava home. That’s very good too: Mezza Luna is a strong contender on City Road, among serious competition, and comes recommended; because from food to welcome, there’s plenty here to set it apart.
159 City Rd,
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This blog is a very simple thing.
I won’t try to sell you any hand lotion, exercise programmes, coffee syrups or Patagonian nose flutes. You won’t find tips on dating, ‘wellness’ or yoga mats.
I write because I love it (and food, as indicated by my increasing girth). Greed happens to be my Deadly Sin of choice, but at least it is never shy of providing me with subject matter.
A simple thing, then: all you get is me wittering on semi-coherently about places I’ve eaten at; hence a ‘restaurant blog’ rather than a ‘food blog’, although there are a few recipes scattered throughout.
From mezze to Michelin ‘fine dining’ and all points in between.