Pomegranate seeds like rubies on top of sweet and fragrant tabbouleh. The smokiness of aubergine-based baba ganoush. Herby marinated halloumi, fried off in a scorching hot pan, and tender chargrilled meats with fresh-out-of-the-kiln flatbreads. And let's be honest – hummus has gone and gotten trendy.
The magic of Middle Eastern cuisine has spread its wings and flown all over the world in recent years, and Lebanese food is having its moment. The menu at Mezzencore lets you dine however you want, so whether you want a lunchtime mezze box, wrap for one, or an evening feast for friends, it's the of perfect style of eating – essentially you get to try a little bit of everything.
Like the tapas of Spain, Lebanese mezze is a bright and exciting spread of different flavours, colours and textures – though the cuisine is often characterised by its wealth of garlic, olive oil and lemon juice, too.
You'll find classics like vine leaves stuffed with rice, tomato and parsley. Potatoes sautéed with fresh coriander. Marinated and griddled vegetables. Salads with olives and crumbly feta cheese. Yoghurt brightened up with garlic, mint and finely chopped cucumber. Pickled red cabbage turned fuchsia. And lots and lots of labneh – a rich cream cheese dip, flavoured with garlic, thyme or chilli.
But carnivores, fear not – Lebanese cuisine is also a meat-feast paradise. And it's all about shawarma, a way of preparing the meat. It's slow-cooked on a spit-roast, and then chopped up and finished on a white-hot grill, so you get that gorgeous smoky chargrilled coating on the outside, and melt-in-your-mouth meat on the inside.
You'll find shawarma chicken and beef on Mezzencore's menu, marinated with its signature blend of aromatic spices. And their famous chicken wings cooked with lemon and herbs. Or you might like to try Soujouk, hot Armenian sausages. Or Makanek Grenade, mini Lebanese sausages perfumed with sticky pomegranate molasses. We can't get enough of their Kebbé either – moreish croquettes of bulgar, stuffed with a spicy filling of minced meat and onion.
And let's not forget about baklava either. These sweet bite-sized beauties are made with layers of filo pastry and finely chopped nuts, held together with syrup or honey, with endless variations to choose from. Gorgeous green pistachios, crunchy cashew nuts, sticky dates – lifted with the delicate flavours of orange blossom, or rose water.
We also love the Flan Mouhalabieh, a delicate pastry flavoured with orange blossom and rose water. With sweets this good, make sure you've left room.
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