Al Waha is a Lebanese restaurant located in the middle of Westbound Grove in Notting Hill. This is one of my favourite areas in London, it’s so quiet and residential that you almost forget to live in the City.
If I remember well before Al Waha I never tried Lebanese cuisine. It’s so exotic to me and I am always fascinated to try new food. You can see that Al Waha it’s not a franchise restaurant, from its outdoor aspect: the full building has a violet pastel colour that clashes completely with its surroundings. The decor inside it’s a bit cringy too, you can perceive that the restaurant has been open quite a while ago and now it’s time for a full renovation. Anyway, please don’t be discouraged by its look, because I was really happy to try it! The place is not too big, I guess it can accommodate no more than ten tables. It was also pretty quiet and the waiters were remarkably polite.
After ordering our food, the waiter brought to our table a very “healthy” appetizer: a bowl with some lettuce, one entire tomato, some carrots and a piece cucumber with some olives in a small bowl aside. It was really weird, me and my parents were looking at each other not really knowing what to do with it, so we just started munching on the veggies like bunnies! I was feeling that I didn’t know what I was supposed to do and whatever I was doing was wrong!
Anyway, the food that came later was marvellous! My parents had the meat and veggie tasting menu, with a little bit of everything you could find on the a la carte menu. Since I am quite used to have hummus, Babaganoush, and falafels by myself, I decided to explore the menu and I had the Moussakaat Batinjan that is a small bowl with fried aubergines with chickpeas, onions, tomatoes, garlic, and spices. It was one of the cold starters, and since the day was a bit windy I didn’t truly enjoy some that it seems taken and for the freezer. The dish itself was delicious, but due to weather conditions and my personal taste, I would have preferred to eat it a little bit warmer.
As a main dish I had Fatayer that is a hot starter made of pastry stuffed with spinach, onions, pomegranate, pine nuts, and walnuts. I also tried the hummus, Babaganoush, and falafels from the vegetarian platter my mom order; I love aubergines in every way you can make them so I instantly fell in love with their Babaganoush, I think they make it because it was nothing like the one that I usually buy at the supermarket.
The lunch ended with some sweet dessert on the house, that I think were baklavas, I took a small bite, but it was way too sweet for my personal taste. I guess that if you have a sweet tooth you would enjoy it for sure!
It is really difficult to find some genuine place here in London where everything is in chain format or with a fast food style (unless you have a proper fine dining experience), so I was quite surprised when I tried Al Waha, by the way, I strongly suggest you go and see for yourself. The prices a slightly less pricey than other restaurants so I guess it is a win-win situation!
Let me know in the comments, if you ever tried Al Waha restaurant, I am curious to know your opinion!