Baba Ghanoush - Pomegranate

Pomegranate

6th January 2017 5.30pm

http://pomegranatesrestaurant.com/

First meal out of the new year! I live around the corner from Pomegranate and due to it’s proximity, it always gets missed out for a look in as I always think it’s so close by that I’ll be able to pop in whenever. We had originally booked for the day before but had to change plans. As it was a Friday night at late notice across the way from the Playhouse, we could only get a table at 5.30pm or 8pm. We opted for the earlier time. For those who are interested, they also have shisha pipes available in a separate area but this was not our kind of thing.

Baba Ghanoush - Pomegranate

Baba Ghanoush – Pomegranate

On arrival we had to wait in a queue to be seated as a large group had just arrived but we didn’t have to wait too long and were shown to a roomy table that could seat 4 (there were two of us). Pomegranate’s menu offers two styles of middle eastern dining. You can either have several mezze plates, a bit like tapas, or you can go for a more traditional starter and main affair. We decided to do the latter. I went for baba ghanoush followed by a gosht kebab. My dining companion chose fatoush followed by Moroccan meatballs.

Fatoush - Pomegranate

Fatoush – Pomegranate

The starters arrived and we tucked in. My baba ganoush was excellent. It had a beautiful smokiness but still a sweet undertone. A massive naan bread was supplied to scoop up this auberginey goodness. This was light and beautifully puffed up. I could have eaten this all evening. On the other side of the table, the fatoush was also received well. Those unfamiliar with fatoush, it’s a Lebanese salad with lettuce, tomatoes, onion, radish and cucumber.

Gosht Kebab - Pomegranate

Gosht Kebab – Pomegranate

The mains arrived and they were massive. Another naan was provided and both dishes had a generous portion of rice. My gosht kebab (well actually two kebabs) was a minced lamb kebab and had okra in a tomatoey sauce on the side. The kebab was full of flavour but a bit dry with the rice, so definitely needed the okra in the sauce to balance it out. I’m not a massive fan of okra but this was pleasant enough. On the other side of the table, the meatballs were enjoyed. She felt that her rice or meatballs were over seasoned with salt but I didn’t notice the same with mine (and as it transpired, my friend woke up incredibly thirsty the morning after, so it was likely it was over salted). This course was less of a hit than the starters.

Moroccan Meatballs - Pomegranate

Moroccan Meatballs – Pomegranate

We were full as we’d overdosed on naan and rice so didn’t opt for dessert. This meal was a bit up and down and I think we might be more likely to go for the mezze option if we went again. Service wise, everyone was pleasant but we were asked the same questions several times by different members of staff, which made it feel a bit chaotic.

Food – 7.5/10
Service – 7/10
Atmosphere – 7/10
Value – 8/10

Overall – 29.5/40

Would I eat here again? For the baba ghanoush – yes.

Cost £41 for two starters and mains

Beirut

Beirut

16th November 2016 12.45pm

Some of my team mates and I headed off to Beirut to see what they had to offer. Situated on Nicolson Square, Beirut offers Lebanese food (just in case the name hadn’t made it clear). We were seated near a window but on a table not set up with cutlery, which was a bit odd. Anyway, we were quickly distracted from that with a stonkingly good value £7 lunch deal, which included a choice of a number of wraps or mains plus a side. We all decided to choose this deal, although it did mean a bit of back and forth between the deal menu and the main menu to work out what everything contained. I went for a halloumi wrap with a side of sojouk (spicy sausage in a sauce). One of my colleagues also went for the halloumi wrap with a falafel side. My next colleague went for the chicken shawarma wrap with a side of jajic (a bit like tzatziki) and my final colleague chose lamb shawarma and baba ganoush.

When the dishes were brought out they were generous in size. All the wraps also came with chips and a side salad. The sides were more than plenty, particularly with the extraordinarily large bowl of jajic. We were also given a pile of flatbreads for wrapping and dipping how we liked. My halloumi wrap was sliced up for me which made it easy to eat. The halloumi was delicious. It had tomatoes, cucumber and onions in with it (we’ll ignore my trauma with the cucumber but actually it was ok with all the other ingredients). The chips were substantial in size and were nice. The salad was standard; mainly shredded iceberg lettuce and tomatoes. There was also a mayo dip. The sausages I had as a side were nice. They weren’t as spicy as I was expecting and had more of nod to mint in there but they were still pleasant on the palate. Around the table, the chicken and lamb were also going down well. The chicken shawarma wrap was presented with chips and salad too. The lamb shawarma was from the mains rather than the wraps list but still came loosely wrapped in a flat bread and had a side of rice. One of my dining companions found her baba ganoush a little too smoky but the falafel and jajic went down well.

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by Beirut. The lunch deal was incredibly good value and we’d happily head back again.

Food – 8/10
Service – 8/10
Atmosphere – 7/10
Value – 10/10

Overall – 33/40

Would I eat here again? Definitely. Particularly for lunch.

Cost £28 for the lunch deal for four people.