Restaurant Review: Le Menar
Walking into this traditional-looking Middle Eastern restaurant was a pleasant surprise to the senses. The food is a modern take on classic flavours and typical recipes from the region; the dishes challenge preconceived ideas on presentation while still delivering an authentic flavour profile.
The chef’s ethos for the restaurant is a forward-thinking approach to Middle Eastern cooking that brings a breath of fresh air and innovation to an established cuisine. Particular enjoyment can be had from the smoked lamb prosciutto with glazed figs, a dish I have not experienced before but would gladly order again. The smoked flavour was present but didn’t diminish the taste of the lamb, which came to the fore and was complemented beautifully by the sweet and sharp flavour of the figs.
The beetroot starter with hazelnuts and lemon was another hit; the earthy beetroot with a hint of harissa was complemented by the sharp lemon notes and the crunch of the hazelnuts. The lamb tagine of neck fillets was cooked well; the meat was tender and moist. The sauce was highly spiced but not overpowering, and the side garnish of potatoes in pâté de brique added a lovely crunchy texture. A thoroughly well-cooked and well-thought-out dish, both in presentation and taste.
Le Menar is a wonderful restaurant to visit with a partner if you want to experience unusual cuisine in a traditional setting. The space allows for an intimate evening, and the staff flit smoothly in and out of your periphery, helping to avoid staccato conversation (we’ve all been there).