Fakhreldine, London

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Middle Eastern cuisine is currently going through a renaissance in London. After all, those pretty, nibbly little things aren't really food, are they?

Middle Eastern cuisine is currently going through a renaissance in London. After all, those pretty, nibbly little things aren't really food, are they? This glamorous celeb-Leb showcases modern Lebanese dishes at their most adventurous. Named after Prince Fakhreldine II of Lebanon, this spacious well-established restaurant underwent the design equivalent of botox last year, and emerged unrecognisably sexy and seductive. Done up in stained oak and muted greys, the place has a clubby feel with magnificent views overlooking Green Park, plus there's also a large bar area furnished with comfy suede banquettes. Chef Karin Haidar's innovative menu is particularly strong on mezze, and includes humous with orange blossom water; deep-fried squid with sesame and pine nut dip, pumpkin, walnut and cracked wheat kibbeh; tabbouleh with green apple; black mullet braised in aromatic spices; and lamb and pomegranate sausages. The menu's mains are also enticing, and include five-spice lamb with Bukhari rice, and roasted quail with cracked wheat and chickpea pilaf. The restaurant makes liberal use of traditional Middle Eastern ingredients that are currently all the rage, such as pomegranate molasses, smoked green wheat, and sumac - ground dried sour berries, used as a spice.

Fakhreldine, 85 Picadilly, London 020 7493 3424, www.fakhreldine.co.uk, Mon-Sat 12-12am, Sun 11-11pm. Meal for two, excl wine: £60

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