Friday, 17 September 2010

Yalla Yalla


Flamin’ heck. I’ve been to Yalla Yalla twice in the space of one week – their food is that good. This tiny little cafe just off Brewer Street in Soho serves delicious Beirut-style street food and makes a baba ghannouj dip that I would walk across hot coals for. Well it’s at least worth queuing up 45 minutes to get a table for…

Last week I had my first taste of their heartstoppingly superior aubergine and yoghurt dip – my husband and I nearly fought over every last drop in the bowl. It was intensely smoky, tangy and smooth, topped with pomegranate seeds and chopped mint, accompanied with a bowl of warm homemade wholemeal pitta breads. Sheer heaven. I followed this with a gorgeous chicken shish taouk – tender chunks of chicken marinated in something lovely, served on a bed of buttery vermicelli rice and a thin bread wrap, with a sumac and onion salad.

I had been daydreaming about this meal all week, and then I had the chance to go back, this time with my lovely my friend S who I never see often enough. I thought she would like Yalla Yalla – she loved it. Again, I ordered the baba ghannouj; it was even better than the first time. (So good, in fact, that I ordered a tub to take away). I followed this with a main course of charcoal grilled sea bass with lemony rice – all very good indeed. S ordered falafel – they were crisp, light and rather pretty, with a lovely smoky cumin taste, accompanied with a garlicky mayonnaise dip and chilli sauce:


Here is my sea bass – not one, but two juicy fillets:


S’s chicken shawarma: phwoar!


That perfect baba ghannouj, again:


The service is friendly and efficient, the staff play energetic house music, and the atmosphere is buzzing with happy chatting diners. People queue outside all night. You will eat like a prince and still barely bust a £20 note, with vino. Such a great little find in Soho, it’s really worth being patient to wait for a table. If I worked around the corner, I would probably buy their baba ghannouj every day for my lunch…and I would be the size of a house.

Yalla Yalla
1 Green’s Court
London W1 0HA


  1. Thanks for the headsup! I am so there.

  2. This sounds fab. I'll add it to my mental "Soho Cheap Eats" little black book.