I popped into Yalla Yalla for a mid week lunch in town with a friend. It was surprisingly busy and bustling with crowds when I arrived, but the service was still very prompt. In fact, my friend was already sitting down and settled with a margarita cocktail when I arrived only ten minutes behind schedule!
The restaurant serves a delicious selection of Middle Eastern and Lebanese food. The mezze menu is particularly enticing, featuring favourites such as houmus, baba ghannoush, tabboule, falafel and halloumi.
There is a decent selection of mains on offer, including 'Lokoz Meshoue' - chargrilled seabass fillet with citrus scented rice and 'Lahem Shawarma' - grilled thin slices of marinated lamb.
Although these dishes looked and sounded tempting, we decided to go for the lunch special, as at £6.99 per dish it was a bit easier on the wallet than the other mains, which averaged around £12.00 each.
The complimentary dish of pickled vegetables - a nice touch
The lunch grills turned out to be a good choice. They each contained 6 tasters of the meze dishes - a vineleaf, a generous dollop of deliciously textured houmus, tabouleh, falafel and two savoury pastries. Before our food arrived we were also given a charming little dish of pickled vegetables and olives on the house - a nice touch.
We washed the meal down with a drinkable if not life-changing carafe of sauvignon blanc and decided that it might be sensible to finish with hot drinks. My friend had a coffee which she described as "rich and strong", meanwhile I opted for a peppermint tea digestif. This came in a little gold teapot with a single, fresh peppermint tea leaf in the bottom of the glass.
It is attention to detail to this, combined with good service that makes Yalla Yalla stand out from the crowd of Oxford Circus lunchtime options.