Comptoir Libanais not only provides the taste of real Lebanese home cooking, it also lovingly replicates the feel of that home through its detailed design. The bright and beautiful mix of colours and patterns bring to life Tony’s childhood memories, so that guests are transported on a journey to a souk somewhere in Beirut, Marrakesh, Istanbul or Cairo.
Immersed in the friendly, fun and humorous décor, the smells, flavours and colours create an inviting atmosphere and a true Middle Eastern experience. The restaurant walls and floors are filled with the colourful tiles found in Arabic homes, courtyards and kitchens. The brass tables are set amongst grandmother’s oilcloth chairs, harrisa tins, vintage silver trays, old family pictures and Fez hats, which all add to the setting.
Within the “souk” feel of the restaurant there is also a real “souk” (market), created by Tony and his team to help guests find authentic ingredients, goodies and homeware that are hard to source on the high street. They will find spices such as Sumac, Zataar, or Orange Blossom, Rose Water, Tahina, and sweet treats such as Nougart and Baklawa.
The handmade bags are made and sent directly from the villages in the Middle-East. For those who want to cook Lebanese food for their family and friends, there are two cookbooks, written by Tony and the team, who are also about to launch their third: Feasts from the Middle East.