Restaurant review: Maison Libanaise in SoHo – Lebanese cuisine served promptly
Tongue-tingling roasted cauliflower and delicious, smoky baba ganoush were the highlights but be warned, bookings for tables are not taken
Price: about HK$235, but we were given several complimentary dishes and a bottle of wine.
Ambience: the ground floor takeaway section was doing a brisk business. The first-floor restaurant was also busy – and way too loud; we couldn’t hear each other across the small table.
Pros: the servers were friendly (although that may be because of “what else” [below]) and the food was served at a good pace.
Cons: the hummus bi tahini (HK$48) was inedibly salty, while the tabbouleh (HK$88) had far too much oil (we asked them to pour off the excess), and the parsley in it looked and tasted cooked, rather than bright and fresh.
Recommended dishes: baba ganoush (HK$48) – eggplant with yogurt, cumin and garlic – had a wonderful smoky flavour and was delicious with the homemade pita bread (HK$28). Although we’re fans of simplicity, our favourite dishes seemed the most complicated.
Roasted cauliflower with spicy harissa, zhoug, lemon and dried lime (HK$88, but the dish was complimentary) was well cooked, tongue-tingling and delicious.
The pulled lamb shoulder (HK$198) was also very good, with tender meat and a complex mix of strong flavours including goat cheese and fried basturma (cured meat). We also liked the moist olive oil and orange cake with rose and pistachios (HK$58, but also complimentary).
What else? The staff recognised my friends (one is a chef and restaurateur; the other is married to a chef), and I’m pretty sure they also recognised me, although they didn’t acknowledge it. The restaurant doesn’t take bookings for tables, and won’t seat a party until everyone is there.
Maison Libanaise, 10 Shelley St, SoHo, tel: 2111 2284