On 2 March 2018, a brand new 120-cover restaurant opened on Pont Street, Belgravia. Lebanese restaurant Abd El Wahab arrived in London’s Belgravia to serve some of the most traditional and much-loved dishes and wines from Lebanon and across the Middle East.
Ghia Holdings, the parent company of the Abd el Wahab restaurant group now has 45 dining venues within its portfolio. London is its first international location and it hopes that London’s reputation as one of the world’s most influential cities for commerce, culture and international cuisine would make their new opening a real success.
At Abd El Wahab, guests can expect to enjoy the Lebanese culture of feasting on many different dishes and engage in social conversation with friends, family and new acquaintances. The new Belgravia restaurant can accommodate large groups of people, as well as diners preferring to dine as two or four. They also have a private dining room for hosting events.
Mark Dickinson, UK Director for Abd el Wahab says that “London is one of the most exciting cities in the world, but it is surprisingly under-represented by restaurants offering authentic and exciting Lebanese food. At Abd el Wahab we bring together the best ingredients available in London, and the experience of our Lebanese chefs, to recreate the fabulous fresh and flavoursome foods that people would associate with Middle Eastern cuisine. The quality of the food, and the experience of our chefs, ensure that diners will enjoy the same flavours and food experience as if they are dining at our award-wining restaurants in Beirut, Dubai, or Cairo.”
The best ingredients in London have been selected by the group’s Executive Chef Kamil Bouloot to ensure that the dishes are accurately replicated to remain loyal to the award-winning Abd el Wahab menu. Service at Abd el Wahab Belgravia will start with a platter of fresh salad and vegetables as well as a selection of pickled vegetables and olives.
This is followed by a wide selection of mezze (Arabic sharing plates) – both traditional dishes and those developed by Chef Bouloot – which includes many different varieties of salads – such as Fattouch (a refreshing mix of greens, tomato, cucumber mixed with sumac spice, lemon juice and pomegranate molasses and topped with toasted flatbread) and Quinoa Tabbouleh (mixed chopped parsley, cherry tomatoes, spring onions and mint, mixed with steamed quinoa and dressed with olive oil and lemon dressing) as well as cold starters such as Moutabbal (char-grilled eggplant dip with tahini – a paste made from sesame seeds – and lemon juice), Shanklish (mature goats cheese, chopped onions, peppers, parsley and tomatoes) and the international favourite, Stuffed Vine Leaves.
No Arabic table is complete unless hummus is present, and Abd el Wahab serves a wide choice of homemade hummus (chickpea puree with tahini and lemon juice), options include hummus topped with grilled lamb pieces, and as well as hummus with toasted pine nuts. Hot starters include Sojok and Makanek (different Lebanese sausages sautéed in lemon juice), Ras Asfour (sautéed veal filet with pomegranate, garlic and lemon), Batata (fried potatoes with garlic, coriander and chilli) as well as Kebbeh (deep fried kebbeh ball stuffed with lamb mincemeat onions and pine nuts).
The restaurant also serves vegetarian, fish and meat-based main courses as individual servings or as sharing platters. All meat and kebabs are seared and cooked fresh to order over the charcoal grill by specialist grill-chefs who bring their Lebanese cooking experience from other restaurants within the group’s portfolio.
The restaurant’s extensive menu includes grilled jumbo prawns, grilled sea bass and baked fish (with onion, garlic, green chilli, tomatoes and coriander) as well as classic grilled kebabs such as Chich Taouk (marinated chunks of chicken on the skewer, with garlic sauce), a specially created Abd el Wahab Mixed Grill (grilled shrimps, lamb cutlets, marinated lamb skewers and chicken taouk) and grilled meat-stuffed Arabic bread. As if that is not enough, there is Ouzzi, the much-loved dish that is served throughout the Middle East, made from slow cooked leg of lamb – served with oriental rice and roasted nuts freshly prepared each day and slow-roasted for up to 10-hrs.
Modern Lebanese winemaking dates to the 1850’s and Abd el Wahab serves a wide variety of Lebanese red, white and rosé wines as well as wines from more familiar wine-growing regions such as Europe and North America. For those who enjoy sparkling wines like Prosecco or champagnes can enjoy these by the glass or the bottle; their stock include Moet, Dom Pérignon and Louis Roederer Cristal Rosé Champagne.
Bookings are accepted now through Bookatable and by telephoning the restaurant directly on: 0207 235 1100.
Our verdict: Highly recommended.
Abd El Wahab – Belgravia
1-3 Pont St, Belgravia, London SW1X 9EL
Tel: +44 20 7235 1100