Post first published in January 2019.
What I love about the modern food and restaurant industry is that there is so much choice. People appreciating food and different cultures, being willing to try new things, to be inspired by new tastes and textures.
Comptoir Libanais is a Lebanese restaurant in the heart of Leeds which not only celebrates Middle Eastern food, but also the culture. You enter the restaurant through a souk selling flavoured tea, rose water, spices and sweet treats but also straw baskets, silver kettles and even cookbooks to get a restaurant inspired meal at home. Immediately I noticed the colour, patterns and character of the place, people were sat with their families happily chatting. Servers were dishing up one colourful meal after the next, a parade of local delivery couriers came and went, taking this freshly prepared food to weary workers who wanted an easy Friday night dinner – but a healthier and tastier choice than a traditional takeaway.
The restaurant was buzzing and alive – and this was before we even sat down.
Here are some photos of the restaurant which is located in the Trinity Leeds shopping centre, on the first floor:
The name Comptoir Libanais is French and translates as ‘Lebanese counter’. They specialise in fresh, healthy food at an affordable price and having enjoyed 3 courses there I can agree.
To start I had the halloumi & tomato salad. At £6.25 it was reasonably priced and tasted delicious. But I knew what I’d be getting with that starter. I had never tried my main dish before however, and I was pleasantly surprised. I opted for a Fattet. Mine was the Lamb Kofta Fattet which is spicy grilled lamb kofta with a warm tahina and yogurt sauce, crispy onion & sumac toasted flatbread. The flatbread was cut and formed part of the dish rather than being a side addition. It was very filling and tasty. To be honest we didn’t have much room for pudding, but the manager wanted to showcase the Orange Blossom Mouhalabia. This is a traditional Lebanese milk pudding with date, fig, apricot, prune and sultana compote. Wow – is all I can say, it was both creamy and light and a nice palette cleanser. We shared the dessert between us which I think was enough as it is quite a big dessert, and at £5.45 a real bargain!
To drink my husband and I each had a homemade lemonade – recommended by the manager. I chose the Roomana which is a pomegranate and orange blossom flavour, and my husband opted for the Toufaha which is apple, mint and ginger. This flavour was absolutely gorgeous – very fresh tasting and zingy! A real thirst quencher!
I loved the unique Lebanese dishes, and it felt nice to go out and enjoy a meal – especially at this time of year, that consisted of whole foods – nothing processed. I will definitely eat at this restaurant again, and it is also good to know that everything on the menu can be packaged up and enjoyed on the go, so next time I’m in Leeds and want a lunchtime sandwich, I can avoid the same old-same old pre-packaged offerings that I might normally choose, and have a freshly made wrap served with warmth and a friendly smile.
Comptoir Libanais has branches of these Lebanese and Eastern Mediterranean restaurants all across the UK. You can find your local venue here.
To visit Comptoir Libanais in Leeds for yourself, here are the details:
Comptoir Libanais is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day.
Address: First Floor, Trinity Shopping Centre (inside Everyman Cinema), Leeds LS1 5AY
Tel: 0113 3509751
Thank you to the team at Comptoir Libanais for a memorable evening and to Jams PR for making it possible. We were given a complimentary meal at Comptoir Libanais for the purpose of this review but all opinions expressed are my own.