I was super- excited when my friend Tilly (who blogs at Mummy Rules) told me that we had been invited to dine at Comptoir Libanais in Exeter. The prospect of a evening out (aptly named a ‘Mum-date’ by Tilly!), having a good gossip, and some great food and wine couldn’t have been more appealing. I was intrigued by the menu at Comptoir Libanais having only quite recently discovered Middle-Eastern food- it’s my current favourite cuisine! (You may have seen my pre-Christmas Persian dinner party!)
The Exeter branch of Comptoir Libanais is one of 16 in the UK, and it offers fresh, healthy and affordable Lebanese dishes. It is situated in the new Queen Street Dining quarter in Exeter-I couldn’t believe the selection of places to eat, and how buzzing it was on a Saturday night- the atmosphere is fantastic. It was all the more unreal for me, an infrequent Exeter visitor as the last time I was there the area was home to WHSmith and Oggy Oggy pasty!
We dived straight into the drinks menu, starting with cocktails and then moving onto a bottle of wine. I was really keen to try the house wine, a Lebanese white, and it was absolutely lovely- light and citrusy, and perfect with the many flavours of the food.
The restaurant itself is full of colour and jewels, with a relaxed and family-friendly feel. We shared the mezze platter to start, a combination of baba ghanuj, hummus, tabbouleh, falafel, lentil salad, cheese sambousek, pickles and pitta bread. It was a very generous portion, and a fantastic selection. The absolute star of the show for me was the falafel, which was just to die for! The Manager later told us that Comptior Libanais are particularly proud of their falafel recipe, and so they should be! I will be looking for it in their cookbook!
For my main course, I chose the chicken shish taouk, and Tilly had the aubergine tagine. I adore the taste of chargrilled chicken, and it was great to be able to choose such a healthy option.
Tilly’s aubergine tagine was rich, dark and satisfying, an ideal veggie choice.
I couldn’t resist the chocolate and tahini brownie for pudding, naughty, but very nice! Tilly chose the refreshing and much more slimmer friendly option of pomegranate and orange blossom fat free frozen yoghurt.
We rounded off the meal with a beautifully refreshing fresh rose mint tea
Our whole experience of Comptoir Libanais was fantastic, the service was both relaxed and friendly- we didn’t feel at all rushed as we grazed our way through the mezze platter, which took a lot longer than it should have due to all of the chatting! We really enjoyed trying new dishes, and the variation of flavours across our meals. The atmosphere was ideal, it was busy and buzzing, but not overcrowded. It was great to see this new development in Exeter so busy and full of life on a Saturday night in January- Exeter itself has so much to offer visitors and this is another feather in its cap.