Maramia Cafe, W10 5PR

Small restaurant in Maida Hill offering Palestinian cuisine and Lebanese wines. Quite some effort and taste has been applied to the decoration to evoke a feeling of the region photo, although less limber diners will be glad that this doesn't extend as far as the low tables and chairs common around the Eastern Mediterranean region. It has seating for around 34 photo.

itsbruce took three friends to the restaurant in January 2011. They had a selection of mezze for starters. All four were thrilled by the quality of these; itsbruce thought they were possibly the best mezze he had ever tasted. All the dishes were very freshly prepared and very carefully seasoned, so that there was a lovely clarity and crispness to the flavours. The two standout dishes were the hummus, which had people fighting for the final scraps, and the Fattush salad (a mixed salad with toasted pitta bread). Also worthy of mention was a dish of spiced sausages in which the sliced tomato accompaniment was as delicious as the meat.

For a main course, each selected a different grill, all of which came served on Arabic bread with a generous portion of salad. The chicken and lamb kababs were tender and hardly seasoned at all (this is not itsbruce's favourite style of dish and he would choose one of the more exotic dishes from the menu, next time). The kofte were subtly flavoured with cinammon and sumac, which the happy diners considered much more pleasant than the peppery version available from a typical kebab house. While the main courses were well received, the consensus was that they weren't the same stunning triumph as the mezze. The Lebanese rosé recommended by the staff was very drinkable but nothing amazing.

The mezze dishes were mostly £4 or £4.50 each (some are available as main courses), the main courses £8 each. A meal for four, including two bottles of wine, came to £74 not including service. They do offer set menus (£12 per head for a two course meal, £16 for a three course meal with tea).

The service was very friendly and helpful but restrained, so that the group never felt pressured or harassed. The starters took a little while to arrive but there was no complaint as they had been made completely from scratch (the group had a clear view into the kitchen from their table). After a lovely evening and some terrific food, all four would highly recommend the Maramia Café.

itsbruce returned on a Saturday morning near the end of February 2011 to try the breakfast. This is a set meal consisting of an egg poached in a spicy tomato sauce, a strongly seasoned salad, hummus, two different kinds of spiced potato cake, falafel and a kind of potato hash, with two flat-breads and a choice of drink (itsbruce had mint tea), all for £6.50. It was nicely presented photo, entirely suitable for non-vegan vegetarians, really very good and surprisingly filling (two flat-breads was more than itsbruce needed).

Accessibility: the restaurant is all on one level but there are a few steps up to the door.

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Last visited by itsbruce, 26 February 2011.

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OS X co-ord: 524443 OS Y co-ord: 181936 (Latitude: 51.522132 Longitude: -0.206095)
Last edited 2012-04-03 13:38:06 (version 4; diff). List all versions.