The Handbook
The Handbook

Last week The Handbook headed over to Curzon Street in Mayfair to Mamounia Lounge, the second Mamounia (the first being in Knightsbridge) to try out their Middle Eastern cuisine. Going on first impressions had we not known about the restaurant below we would have probably kept walking passed it. The terrace in front of the restaurant was filled people smoking shisha, nothing wrong in that, but it just didn’t reflect the great quality food that was being served downstairs.

Once we were inside and down the stairs we were led into the restaurant, which was a mix of small tables, booths, and seats at the bar. The large mirrors, beautiful curved wall, and Middle Eastern decorations meant that it was opulent without being gaudy, but the loud music left it feeling more like an empty club than an intimate restaurant. The menus again let it down, just printed on paper they were loosely tied to their cover and were rather dog –eared.

The food however was delicious.  A mix of small plates to share it is the perfect way to cover your table with mezze and get stuck in. As soon as we saw the deep fried goat’s cheese arrive we knew that it was going to be good. Covered in sesame seeds it oozed so satisfying and worked so well with the crunch of the seeds and salad it came with. We also ordered some pittas and hummus, the pitta were light fluffy and the hummus was studded with pomegranate seeds, simple but full of flavour.

We followed this with the Meshoul – shoulder of lamb that had been slowly roasted for 8 hours and marinated in Moroccan spices and served with a bouillon and fresh dates and apricots. The lamb was tender it was meltingly good and the apricots and dates provided that sweet punch that was needed to work with the spice, it was wonderfully good. The lamb tagine was also ordered and devoured quickly; again the fruit provided the sweet and sticky textures that worked so well with the meat.

Never one to turn down pudding we were advised to choose the hot chocolate fondant pudding, it was rich, dark and decadent and served simply with a scoop of ice cream and fruit. We also went for the platter of sticky, sweet baklawa which was an ample portion and a good selection, perfect for two sharing if you can’t handle a whole pudding alone.

Mamounia Lounge’s food is spot on, the décor is ornate an understated glamour, just a few tweaks here and there with menus and atmosphere and Mamounia Lounge Mayfair will be well on its way.