You know when you suddenly realise that you’ve passed by a hidden gem loads of times? Well that was us when we finally set foot in the deliciously colourful Comptoir Libanais in Bath. Hit by an explosion of delightful smells in one of the most Instagramable eateries we’ve ever seen, it was a great surprise to discover that it’s not only a restaurant, but also a deli and a souk-style shop.
Lebanese food is one of those rare cuisines that provides as wide a selection for meat eaters as it does for us veggies, and a true feast of a spread was offered to the lucky group of bloggers and journalists invited to try the new summer menu.
I opted for a refreshing glass of Roomana Vodka Sour (pomegranate juice shaken with vodka, lemon juice & rose syrup and ginger) while Dan chose a Rose and Rum Daiquiri (frozen blend of rum, lemon juice & rose syrup) before armed with warm pita bread we tucked into rich hummous, tasty baba ghanuj (smoked aubergine, tahina & lemon juice with pomegranate seeds, served with pita bread), zesty tabbouleh, moist falafel, and beetroot labne (thick and creamy cheese) to die for!
We washed down some fragrant olives with a couple of glasses of Chateau Musar, a very smooth Lebanese red wine, and despite being pretty full after all those treats, we couldn’t resist the aubergine tagine and Halloumi Cheese & Zaatar Man’ousha (flat bread, halloumi cheese, wild thyme & fresh mint). Dan also managed to fit in salmon shakshuka and was still raving about it on our way back to Bristol!
Amazing fresh food aside, I was particularly taken by the vintage Middle Eastern movies inspired decor. Restaurant manager John enthusiastically explained how everything is sourced in Lebanon, from the colourful tiles on the floor to the plates on the tables, and I defy anyone visiting the little souk corner to not leave with at least a bottle of rose water or one of the straw bags! I’ve already put the cooking book on my list for Christmas and I know where to get the authentic ingredients!
Comptoir Libanais may be a chain of more than 20 restaurants but it has a real independent feel. The decor is divine and strong care and attention clearly goes into the food. It’s also rare to meet as passionate a manager as John who sold the business to us very well!
Big thanks to Jennifer at Jams PR and the restaurant team.
We were provided with complimentary food and drink but all views are our own.
Comptoir Libanais is offering free food to children on Monday to Friday during the summer holidays. One child can eat free with every adult main course purchased (excluding wraps).