Hiba, SE1

So it’s Valentine’s Day and I’ve got nothing of any real substance planned.  My intention was to go down to Borough Market during the day, have a foodie filled afternoon and spend the evening indoors (abusive letters from female readers at the usual address!).  Unfortunately, it appeared that half of London had the same idea, as the Market was more packed than a battery farm.  In all fairness, we did manage to grab a hugely satisfying pork sandwich and a simply huge sausage sandwich from ‘Roast to Go’, but I don’t think it was going to cut the mustard.

 

Anyway, it’s around 7pm now and we’re both pretty hungry with no food to speak of.  Ms Pancake had mentioned Hiba a number of times and seeing as we were just round the corner we decided to make it the location of our Valentine’s evening.  Who said romance was dead, eh?? 

 

Fortunately, the restaurant turned out to be really very good.  The interior was stylish and relaxed, with liberal use of dark woods and leather.  The Lebanese menu featured the expected range of hot & cold mezza, pastries and grills, although on this evening we were restricted to their Valentine’s set menu.  Our massive range of starters included light and tasty Falafels, incredibly fresh Tabbouleh (parsley salad) and some very tasty Sambousek Lamb (fried pastry filled with minced lamb and pine kernals).  For mains, we both opted for the simply outstanding mixed grill; the Lamb Kafta (season minced Lamb) was juicy, perfectly seasoned and just mouth-wateringly good, whilst the Shish Taouk (chicken cubes) was lightly marinated in the lightest of spices and perfectly grilled.  Dessert was predictably a plate of perfectly acceptable Baklava (sweet nut filled pastries).

 

The over-riding theme for all of the food was its freshness; there was a level of flavour that just is not achievable without using totally fresh ingredients.  As a bonus, the restaurant also provides outstanding value for money; on an ordinary night, starters come in at around £5 and mains at £11 for very respectable sized portions.   With a great range of classic Lebanese wraps for around £4, it’s also great for popping in for a quick bite.

 

Food – 4/5

Venue – 3/5

Value – 4/5

 

Cuisine type – Lebanese

Dinner for 2 (ex. drinks) – £44

Wine – £4

 

Hiba Restaurant

134 Borough High Street

London

SE1 1LB

020 7357 9633

minilink Hiba, SE1