Monday, November 05, 2012

Mamounia Lounge

136 Brompton Road 

I'll be honest and say that Knightsbridge is not one of my usual haunts, but when I was invited to come to Mamounia Lounge to check out their Moroccan and Lebanese menu, it seemed like a good reason to expand the horizons a bit. A short walk from Knightsbridge station, Mamounia Lounge is decked out more like a bar/club than restaurant, and I probably wouldn't have thought about it as a place for dinner if I was just walking past. Inside, it's all dim lighting and dark, intense colors. We started with the long cocktail list, and I tried a Gold Digger cocktail (passion fruit, vanilla, vodka, champagne) and A had the Mamounia Old Fashioned with Flor de Cana 21 rum. They were both well balanced, though A did realize he'd chosen an after-dinner drink for his pre-dinner drink. 

To start we had the incredibly creamy Hommus Shawarma (topped with grilled lamb), and deep fried squid which managed to be both crispy and tender. The mixed grill and lamb shank tagine mains also showed off the skills of the kitchen - I'm not sure I've ever had a chicken kebab that was so juicy and full of chickeny flavor, and the lamb shank was braised to a fall-apart consistency that just needed gentle prodding with a fork. 

Desserts were not as stellar as the savory dishes though - the Mahalabia, an Arabic pudding garnished with pistachios, tasted mostly of roses to me, which was unexpected as I'd never had the dish before and there was no mention of that flavor on the menu. The fig tart had a rather thick, stodgy pastry, but it was saved by the fabulous cinnamon ice cream. This is going to sound disgustingly greedy, but our waiter was insistent that we try the chocolate fondant and brought it out for our third dessert, and to be fair it was the best of the three. 

For something sweet after a meal that won't stuff you even further, I'd suggest going outside for a shisha - we had the mixed fruit tobacco pumped through mango juice, and it was a more unique, fun experience than the dessert menu. That's a popular option though and there isn't much space outside, so you do need to book in advance.

Since we were there on a Friday night, a stunning belly dancer performed after dinner - a bit of extra entertainment if you're looking for it! It seems to fit the neighborhood well - I would hesitate a bit at the prices, especially as I live close to Dalston where meals like this would be half the cost, but you do get a more glamorous presentation in return, and there are certainly many comparably priced places in Knightsbridge without the quality cooking seen here.

Goodfoodetc was invited to review Mamounia Lounge.

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