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LayaLina Lebanese Bar & Restaurant (Bar, Restaurant)

Picture of LayaLina Lebanese Bar & Restaurant in Knightsbridge, London

2/3 Beauchamp Place, Knightsbridge, London, SW3 1NG
Cuisine: Lebanese Average Price: £35.00
Tel: 020 7581 4296 | Email to LayaLina Lebanese Bar & Restaurant | | Transport: Knightsbridge | Write review

LayaLina Lebanese Bar & Restaurant Review

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Best for: Impressing London visitors; a special night out.

Great: Service; Wine; Setting.

One of the brilliant things about London is that you never know what is going to hit you. This is one of the hugely exciting concepts of such a big city; unless it involves a bendy bus, of course. But, outside of scruffy buses, London's delights go far.

With its parading of high-fashion, mind-changing theatre, quirky pop-up food and drink events, looting and rioting, and random encampments near famous architectural structures, many things in this fabulous city are sure to do one thing: alter perceptions. And Londoners are in the best position to experience these mindset changes regularly.

This was just the case for myself when I headed to a shiny Knightsbridge Lebanese restaurant called Layalina. Previous to this dining experience, my perception of Lebanese food included things like dark, small stools in bejewelled seating arrangements; comfy pillows and low-humming music; overly-friendly staff; and, intimate atmospheres. I thought this was the norm.

But Layalina has taken a different route: shiny, stream-lined interior design that gives in to a modern black and white theme; white-linens on tables; blue lighting; and ambient, French jazz. It has a wholly different setting and, although not unpleasant in the least, was simply not what I was expecting with my rooted opinions about where this type of food should be served up. It seemed I would have to throw all of those perceptions and pre-conceived notions of what the “Lebanese dining experience” should be, right out of the window onto the well-polished Knightsbridge streets.

When we arrived at the restaurant, I found myself having to quickly start with a blank slate and remind myself that Beirut, Lebanon's capital, was, for years, known as the Paris of the Middle East. So, why wouldn't it revel in this French style?

As we settled down and the waiters rushed over in their eagerness to be top-of-the-class in the service category, I noted many a conversation taking place in French. There was also a couple with South African accents sat at the table behind us discussing a jazz festival. And a range of spindly legged, stunning women delicately walking into the restaurant wearing designer labels and too-tall shoes. It was all tres chichi indeed!

While we sipped down on our “artesian” water, my dinner guest and I tried our best to look as posh as possible. I was wearing pearls. I nearly fit in.

After ordering our meals – a cold and hot mezze selection, chicken livers, spicy tilapia and lamb shank – we sunk into our bottle of delightful Lebanese wine to ease ourselves into the upper-class setting.

Watching the hosts near the door, it was easy to see the aim of Layalina: to provide a flawless service to high-paying clientele who are accustomed to the best. The door is always opened before patrons arrive at the handle; a tiny drop of wine spilled when pouring from the bottle is gently wiped off a plate; and, food is served quickly and arranged in a style one expects in a place like this.

We were both impressed with parts of our meal: the vine leaves were tender, flavourful and not too acidic; the spicy cheese was moorish; the Fatayer (a pastry parcel with spinach, pomegranate, sumac and onions) was crispy and taste-bud tingling; while the lamb shank fell straight off the bone. The spicy tilapia was not, in fact, very spicy but it was perfectly cooked and the baklava was a lush way to end the meal.

Mid-way through, the sequinned belly dancer wiggled her hips into the room, undulating her stomach in a way most women wish they could. But again, she changed my perceptions: she was not a dark-haired, Arabian beauty, which one normally claps hands to at Lebanese restaurants, but a slim, perfect specimen with perky breasts and flowing blonde hair. She fit in with the Kinghtsbridge personas, but somehow seemed so much less wholesome: she was all sequins and sex. Not that many people seem to mind.

By the end of the evening, we were both so full we could hardly move from the table. As we edged our way out, and a kind server came over to put my jacket on my bloated figure, I took one last look around the sleek surroundings. Layalina bills itself as having the “most exciting take on Lebanese food in 400 years” and, although I may not completely agree, I will say it provides scrumptious meals in a very professional environment that will certainly change your perception about how Lebanese food can be served up.

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Customer Reviews for LayaLina Lebanese Bar & Restaurant

Average (based on 4 votes): 4 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of LayaLina Lebanese Bar & Restaurant.

“I went to Layalina Saturday the 8th of October. I had never experienced lebanese cuisine before and that was a great premiere. The staff was very friendly and attentive to my allergies. They made everything perfect. The food was just perfect. The waiter advised me to get a cold and hot mezze selection to share with my partner at least we could try a bit everything. That was so lovely. While we then had our main, a nice sea bass each (which I ate all although I had no room left), a belly dancer made her entrance into the room asking some hen party girls to dance with her. I enjoyed as much as the Hen lady. That's an unusual way of having a meal, but I loved it. The baklawa were wonderful as well. We ended our meal with some fresh mint tea and I would definitely go there again.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Lucie, Yorkshire (5 years 3 months 20 days ago)

“Really enjoyable night, really worth going to. Food was really nice, my mixed grill was the best I've ever tasted. Definitely visiting again. Definitely worth visiting.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Richard, London (7 years 1 months 2 days ago)

“The whole experience at Laya'Lina was great. The atmosphere and friendly staff made up for the only slightly above average mousakka. The starters were really nice - very varied flavours - and the whole night was really enjoyable. We passed on the belly dancers because we were just so full!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Megan, London (7 years 2 months 8 days ago)

Show all user reviews for LayaLina Lebanese Bar & Restaurant

“The Lebanese food is delicious, some of the best in London but the atmosphere wasn't amazing... Maybe caught it on a wrong night?”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Sam, London (7 years 2 months 17 days ago)

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LayaLina Lebanese Bar & Restaurant Opening Hours

Monday: 11:00am - 1:00am Friday: 11:00am - 2:00am
Tuesday: 11:00am - 1:00am Saturday: 11:00am - 2:00am
Wednesday: 11:00am - 1:00am Sunday: 11:00am - 1:00am
Thursday: 11:00am - 1:00am    

Additional Information

LayaLina Lebanese Bar & Restaurant Food & Drinks

  • Cuisine Type: Lebanese
  • Average Price: £35.00

LayaLina Lebanese Bar & Restaurant Food Menu

Specialising in Lebanese dining with a modern twist, the restaurant offers a selection of hot and cold mezzes, including favourites such as fatoush (a salad of mixed leaves, tomato, sumac and roasted Lebanese bread croutons), hummus, baba ghanoush and also chargrilled specialities and unusual main courses, such as Siyyadiyeh, a fish and rice dish that originated in the costal city of Tripoli, and Aubergine and Cauliflower Kabsa, a popular rice dish.

Updated 22/11/2010

Item Description Price
Hommus Classic Cold Mezze Classic chick-pea garlic dip served with bread (v) £ 4.90
Spicy Cheese Mezze Homemade spicy hard cheese with fresh tomatoes, onion and red pepper, drizzled with fresh olive oil (v) £ 5.50
Tartar Mezze Habra Nayeh Lamb tartar served with garlic puree £ 6.95
Hot Falafel Mezze Authentic chick-pea croquettes served with tahini sauce and pickles (v) £ 5.50
Hot Mezze Selection for 2 Arayes, Spinach Fatayer, Falafel Kibbeh and Jaweneh £ 12.95
Lentil & Spinach Soup Yellow lentils topped with spinach, garlic and lemon (v) £ 6.95
Aubergine Moussaka Oven baked aubergine, potato, chick peas and mixed veg, cooked with tomoato sauce topped with white cheese sauce and kashkawan cheese (v) £ 13.50
Layalina Lamb Shank Slowly cooked lamb leg served with mushroom and rice of the day £ 18.95
Kafta Char-grilled seasoned minced lamb with onion, parsely, red peppers and vegetables £ 13.95
Grilled Fillet Beef fillet seasoned served with mushroom sauce on a bed of asparagus, veg and flavoured rice £ 21.50
Roast Fish Authentic Lebanese fisherman's dish. Prime fish-of-the-day served on a bed of seasoned rice with a fragrant glaze £ 16.95
Shawarma Chicken Slow cooked marinated chicken shaved from the rotisserie, served on bread and vegetables £ 13.95
Chicken Taouk Char-grilled shish kebab of marinated chicken pieces, served with roasted vegetables and garlic sauce £ 16.95
Vintage Salad Authentic salad served with white cheese, cherry tomatoes, black olives, pomegranate, radish and apple vinegar sauce (v) £ 7.45
Chicken Salad Grilled chicken marinated with garlic, lemon and red capsicum, served on tossed green leaves with cucumber, onion and tomatoes £ 7.95
Baked Pears Baked fresh pears, served with ice cream and mohalabiah, flavoured with rose water £ 5.50
Cheese Honey Steamed cheese with semolina and honey, topped with ashta and syrup, sprinkled with crushed pistachio £ 5.50
Aish Al Saraya Homemade crispy dough crushed and cooked with honey, topped with cheese, banana and pistachio £ 7.50

LayaLina Lebanese Bar & Restaurant Drinks Menu

Layalina offers a large selction of drinks whether you're in the mood for wine, champagne, spirits or cocktails.

Updated 22/11/2010

Item Description Price
Rose Petal Martini Bombay Sapphire Gin, Lanique Liquor, Lychee juice and dash of Peychaud’s bitter. £ 7.95
Raspberry Mule Russian Standard Vodka, Lime juice, Sugar syrup mixed with muddled fresh Raspberries. Top up with Ginger beer. £ 7.95
Black Bison Zubrowka Vodka, Chambord Liquor, Lime juice, Sugar syrup and fresh Blackberries. £ 7.50
Alan Sexy Special Passion fruit and Mango juices, double cream, Vanilla syrup, dash of freshly squeezed Lemon juice and muddled Strawberries. Top up with lemonade. £ 6.00
Layalina Fizz Cointreau, freshly squeezed Lime juice and Sugar syrup. Top with Champagne. £ 8.95
Comte Stanislas, Cuvée Sélection France NV Rich style with pronounced yeast and brioche on the nose. The buttery palate is underpinned by fresh acidity. Gls) £11.00 – (Btl) £65.00 £ 11.00
White Wine: Clos St Thomas Lebanon 2009 Fresh and lively with a golden yellow color, this white wine reflects the Generosity of an exceptional soil. (Gls) £4.95 – (Btl) £18.95 £ 4.95
White Wine: Cedar Grove Chenin Blanc, Stellen Bosch South Africa 2009 Rich nose with acacia tree and honey flavours. The palate is balanced and ripe with length. £23.75 £ 23.75
White Wine: La di Motte Pinot Grigio, Veneto Italy 2009 Pale straw colour with lively highlights, fresh and zesty yet soft on the palate, with well balanced acidity. (Gls) £5.95 – (Btl) £27.75 £ 5.95
Red Wine: Clos St Thomas, Les Gourmets Lebanon 2006 Deep cherry, has fruity flavour with a hint of liquorice and has fine and balanced tannins. (Gls) £4.95 – (Btl) £18.95 £ 4.95
Red Wine: Château Marjosse, Bordeaux France 2005 Deep ruby wine with plum aromas. The palate is supple with concentrated cassis, spice and a hint of liquorice. Good structure and long finish. (Gls) £6.25 – (Btl) £26.75 £ 6.25
Red Wine: Chapel Peak Pinot Noir, Marlborough Fine and delicate, with red fruits notes and hints of spicy cocoa. Fruity with silky tannins. Well-balanced, fine structure and unctuous taste. £49.75 £ 49.75
Rose Wine: Ksara Sunset Lebanon 2009 This wine has the aroma of red berries and spice with a roudness on the plate. Complimented by a fresh and lively finish. (Gls) £6.95 – (Btl) £27.00 £ 6.95

Special offers, discounts and deals at LayaLina Lebanese Bar & Restaurant

Set menus are the perfect way to try a varied selection of Layalina's delicious dishes!

Updated 22/11/2010

LayaLina Lebanese Bar & Restaurant Hire Details

With three different hire areas to choose from, Layalina is the perfect place to celebrate any occasion.

Updated 22/11/2010

Name: Le Grand Restaurant
Type: Restricted Area
Days: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Cost - Hire Fee: £ 3000 / Min Bar Spend: £ 0
Options: Food Available, Seating Available,
DJ: None
Capacity: 110
Notes: Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, dinners can enjoy live belly dancing entertainments. It is the most ideal for large group bookings, special occasions, private bookings, wedding receptions.
Name: Le Petit Restaurant
Type: Restricted Area
Days: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Cost - Hire Fee: £ 1500 / Min Bar Spend: £ 0
Options: Food Available, Seating Available,
DJ: None
Capacity: 36
Notes: The “Petit Restaurant” is more casual and relaxed, good location for an after work meal and catch up.
Name: Lounge Bar
Type: Restricted Area
Days: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Cost - Hire Fee: £ 2000 / Min Bar Spend: £ 0
Options: Food Available, Seating Available,
DJ: None
Capacity: 50
Notes: The champagne and cocktail lounge is relaxing, chilled and intimate. There not only you can enjoy delicious cocktails but also mouth-watering Lebanese canapés. Perfect location for after work drinks

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"Paid £50 deposit for table near screens to watch two games of rugby, paid additional £25 for cold bucket of beers upon arrival. Arrived, asked about the beers, admin mix up apparently and they thought..." Which venue is this?

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