Thursday, 28 January 2010

Kenza - Moroccan and Lebanese Restaurant Review

Located in the heart of the financial quarter of the City, in Devonshire Square, Kenza, was both a surprise and a joy to discover. Having previously worked in this area, I used to walk past this hidden gem on a daily basis, completely unaware of its very existence.

Generally preferring the hustle and bustle of the West End, my prejudice has been shaken to realise that good food can be served with something other than the stiff upper lip - a traditional accompaniment to dining in the city in my experience!

Kenza is a Moroccan and Lebanese restaurant with a conventionally Middle-Eastern theme running throughout, which included the d├ęcor, flavour and the belly dancers that performed in the bar and even shimmied and belly-shook between tables while people tucked into their hommos et al. Incense filled the dining and bar area with a delicate aroma and rose petals were gracefully positioned on the place settings. All in all a very warm welcome into this underground haven.

After a hectic day at work I couldn’t wait to get tucked into some tasty morsels so we ordered a few mezza dishes to begin our meal, which all came with some absolutely delicious pitta style flat breads. We stuck with the norm and ordered some hommos, which was fantastically sharp and sided this with ‘Sambousek D’jej’ and ‘Kredis Mekli’. The first was a pastry roll, almost like fillo but slightly more flaky, which was filled with shredded roast chicken, caramelised onions and walnuts, all blended with the most divine mix of spices. The chicken, although roasted, was moist and juicy and this made for a perfect starter for me. The ‘Kredis Mekli’ was a small casserole of tiger prawns and aubergine in a coconut and chilli sauce, the sweet and savoury tones complimented each other beautifully and with the bread and hommos, I began to feel rather full up! So far, so good.

After no time at all, the main course arrived. Mine was ‘Samke Harra’, a glorious fillet of sea bass, with a beautiful tomato and coriander side dish and a lemon infused rice. All the flavours were delicate and fragrant and made the equivalent of classical music in my mouth.

We finished the meal in the standard Arabian way with mint tea, baklava, fresh fruit and my absolute favourite Turkish delight – bliss! A lot of wine was taken throughout the meal and with 3 mezza dishes, a couple of main courses and dessert, plus alcohol, this meal came in at just under £100 for two people- not bad going!

Kenza means treasure in Arabic and after a truly fantastic meal I can confirm that this is one.

Kenza is situated on Devonshire Square. To book a table please call 020 7929 5533. Visit for more information.

Kenza on Urbanspoon

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