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URBAN TASTE

EAT ING OUT 09 LAYA’LINA

When I first heard of Laya’Lina, it was through a friend who was going to the opening party a few months ago and decided to nominate me as her plus one! When we turned up on the night the place was packed and with a lot of familiar faces from around town, which, I hoped, was a good sign of things to come. After that first night I decided to go back and review the place properly. I have to admit, I subsequently thought it may have been a rushed decision, since remembering the canapés and finger food being passed around on the opening night wasn’t exactly anything to go by. Thus I was expecting some mediocre fare, with a lot of fanfare and live entertainment thrown in. Well, the good news is I’ve been back quite a few times since, as the food is actually rather good, and the entertainment not too bad either! Located on Beauchamp Place, in Knightsbridge, Laya’Lina is spread across two floors. There is a bar with a raised lounge area to the back, which makes for a cosy and intimate setting to catch up over a drink and nibbles. The adjoining room on the ground floor has more of a bistro feel to it, where you can order from the bar menu, although a la carte is also available.

certain nights, along with belly dancers, which adds to the whole ambiance of the place. For the review I went on a Friday evening with my dining companion, a top hair stylist, visiting from out of town. It was a lovely sunny evening and the sun was still shining when we got there, so we decided to sit outside and have an aperitif while looking over the menu. We ordered a selection of hot and cold mezzes to start, consisting of: Hummus with chilli and coriander, Tabouleh (parsley and tomato salad), Samakeh Harra (prime fish fillet drenched in spicy tomato salsa), Cheese Sambusak (pastry parcels filled with cheese) and some Patata Harra (diced potatoes with spices and coriander sauce). They were all extremely tasty, in particular the fish fillets and cheese pastries. The twist on the hummus with chillies was also a pleasant surprise.

The main courses were substantial and well presented and tasted equally as good, especially the lamb shank which just melted in the mouth. A truly mouth-watering dish and certainly one I would highly recommend. With so much food, we really didn’t have the capacity to have any desserts, so instead finished off with a coffee. Overall a fabulous restaurant with friendly and helpful service. As I mentioned, I’ve been there several times since the review and will no doubt be going there again in the very near future. Our bill came to £92.00, including a couple of cocktails and coffees. Ataur Rahman Laya’Lina 2/3 Beauchamp Place London, SW3 1NG Tel: 0207 581 4296 www.layalina.co.uk

For the main course we had the Laya’Lina Lamb Shank (braised baby lamb, served with oriental rice with cinnamon sauce), the Sultan Ibrahim (Fried Red Mullet served on a bed of baked potatoes and topped with a lentil sauce). Side dishes were Spinach in Cream with a hint of garlic and Lentil Stew (braised brown lentils with coriander and lemon) with some Lebanese bread.

The main dining area is situated downstairs in the basement, which is where you would go for a real culinary experience. Live music is provided on

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Urban Life - London's premier (free) luxury lifestyle magazine  

Urban Life is a London-based luxury lifestyle magazine, aimed at the professional/affluent Londoner. Features reflect the tastes and aspira...

Urban Life - London's premier (free) luxury lifestyle magazine  

Urban Life is a London-based luxury lifestyle magazine, aimed at the professional/affluent Londoner. Features reflect the tastes and aspira...

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