Tony Kitous, founder of Comptoir Libanais and his team have announced their new menu, which they have created to include an exciting new range of Middle Eastern and North African inspired dishes for guests to enjoy together. Tony’s passion is to make this style of cooking accessible for everyone by showcasing the authentic flavours and fresh, vibrant ingredients from these countries. He is also keen to ensure that the food Comptoir Libanais serves can be enjoyed by everyone which is why 30 per cent of the menu is now vegan and over 55 per cent of the menu is vegetarian this was a natural thing for them to do as many Middle Eastern dishes are naturally vegetarian. Their new menu is available at restaurants nationwide.
Tony says: “What is great is that the Lebanese and Middle Eastern style of cooking is perfect for catering for vegetarians and vegans. When we eat, we welcome loved ones and guests with Mezze as it encourages everyone to join and share. Then the feasting begins!”. This is usually with a spread of fresh, vibrant salads, grilled and slow-cooked meats and vegetables, steamed couscous, vermicelli rice, pickles, dips, olives and always followed by dessert, like the Rose Mouhalabia – a traditional Lebanese milk pudding flavoured with rose syrup and topped with toasted pistachios and finally finished off with some tea and something sweet. As Tony has experienced since he was a little boy, “You will never leave an Arabic table hungry!”.
To really encourage this way of sharing meals with friends and loved ones, Comptoir Libanais have added new feasting set menus which showcase all of their favourites. For The Feast Menu a minimum of two guests will share Hommos, Baba Ghanuj, Beetroot labne, falafel, halloumi and tomato, cheese samboussek, batata harra, tabbouleh. Next comes a Mixed Grill and an Aubergine Tagine with Couscous, then your meal finishes with Baklawa and Rose Mint Tea , all for £26.95 per person. This is the perfect way to enjoy all of the best dishes on the Comptoir menu without the difficult decision of which ones to pick!
Comptoir Libanais is known for its generous portions of meaty platters and eight-hour cooked tagines, their colourful salads and their freshly rolled warm wraps and beautiful aromas filling their restaurants from the freshly grilled meats. Now, they have also introduced Spiced Salmon Shakshuka – pomegranate roasted salmon with slow roasted tomatoes, onion and chilli shakshuka to cater for fish lovers and pescetarians and as an added bonus it is also gluten free. To add to the meat choices, a Lamb and Prune Tagine is available; succulent lamb mixed with juicy prunes which are also a superfood packed with fibre and minerals. The ever-popular Mixed Grill is of course still available, as is the all-time favourite Chicken Wrap, all of which can be enjoyed in the restaurant or taken away.
For the vegetarians, the new Avocado and Feta Salad brings smooth, creamy and tangy flavours. New to the Mezze is the Beetroot Labne. Made with just natural labne, tahina and beetroot this dish is simple but delicious. Cheese Samboussek is actually a return to the menu due to popular demand and it is no surprise, as the flaky, buttery pastry filled with oozing cheese is a beautifully satisfying treat to start any kind of feast.
Desserts are the perfect way to conclude any feast so, naturally, the restaurant offers a selection of Lebanese sweets such as Chocolate Cake topped with red berries and sour yoghurt, the Orange and Almond cake has had a refresh and is now gluten-free and vegan, and of course there is still the delicious Baklawa – pastry filled with honey, dates and nuts just like the desserts Tony enjoyed as a child growing up in the Middle East with the air filled with the scents of honey and orange blossom.
The drinks menu also has some fantastic new Lebanese wines which have been expertly chosen by the team. They have two delightful house wines from Clos St Alphonse, which are made by the oldest vineyard in Lebanon – Chateau Ksara in the Bekaa Valley. The first is Blanc de Blancs, which blends the mineral freshness of Sauvignon Blanc; the creamy richness of Chardonnay and the luscious nature of Semillon to create a unique and character-filled wine. The second is Reserve de Couvent also made by the fantastic Chateau Ksara – a fantastic blend of Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, a silky combination of blackberries, plums and spice with a smooth finish the perfect accompaniment to Lebanese food.
As Tony always says, “Food is the one thing that brings people together, much closer than anything else.”. That is why he and the team are proud to introduce this new menu, of which 30 per cent is vegan, as it gives the opportunity for lovers of all kinds of food to eat together at Comptoir Libanais and experience real, wholesome and healthy Middle East cooking in a souk-like setting.”
There are currently 22 Comptoir Lebanais restaurants across London and around the country, including Manchester, Bath, Leeds, Reading, Birmingham, Oxford and Exeter.