Comptoir Libanais is a Lebanese restaurant in Leeds, tucked away under the Everyman cinema in Trinity Shopping Centre. It’s a restaurant I often forget about but every time I go, I really enjoy the food. It’s a great spot for taking a break from the shopping, either for a light lunch, early dinner or just a sweet treat.
The restaurant has a very colourful and fun interior. It’s full of Mediterranean decor and products which you can buy so you’ll always have a bit of Comptoir Libanais at home. Everything from cook books to woven bags. I particularly like their floor tiling and colourful glass lamps in the ceiling. Everything is miss matched but it works really well.
On this occasion, I came to try their vegan menu*, especially put together for ‘veganuary’ which is becoming more popular each year. I am not vegan and could never be but I don’t mind cutting down on meat where possible. Sometimes the plant based menu at a restaurant intrigues me more than the meat options. Mediterranean and in this case Lebanese food is a cuisine that lends well as vegan.
Comptoir Libanais Menu
The vegan menu consists of three healthy and guilt free dishes: two small and one slightly larger. We shared three small dishes and one big dish between two people and I walked out content. The smaller dishes are around £5 each and the main just over £10.
Hommos and Falafel with Harissa Sauce – smooth hommos and falafel with harissa sauce, parsley, extra virgin olive oil and pickled turnips. I was really excited about this one, I love falafel. Sadly it was overcooked but all the great flavours were still there and the hommos and harissa are beautiful.
Baked Aubergine with Coriander Dressing – baked aubergines, with pomegranate seeds, red chilli, fresh mint, coriander, pistachio and molasses dressing. The star of the show! These aubergines come loaded with chillis so be careful if you normally don’t like a kick to your food. I scraped mine off and still tasted a lovely heat. We ordered an extra dish of these and they were even better as they’d been baked longer with a nice crispy edge to them. Tip – ask for crispy aubergines and you’ll be in for a treat.
Slow Cooked Vegetable Tagine – tomato, pepper, aubergine, onion & chickpea stew served with couscous, quinoa or vermicelli rice. This dish also has aubergine and I was concerned it might be too much but no, these taste completely different to the starter. Almost sweeter. A really nice combination with the carbs. Why have rice on its own when you can mix in couscous and quinoa for more flavour and difference in texture.
Worth to mention, we also shared a plate of a selection of baklava (not vegan) as dessert. It’s the first time I’ve ever had baklava and safe to say I’ll go back for more. I even think they sell them to go so who knows, I might pop in on the way home after a city centre visit. It’s the perfect sharer dessert as you get a plate full of six small bites. Five which are made of filo pastry, layered with various nut fillings and the sixth (served in a mini cake liner) is soft, without any filo. These are not vegan as honey is used to sweeten and bind the ingredients. I have a sweet tooth but aside from the soft baklava, I thought these were perfect as not too sweet like other desserts can get.
Cheers to that fantastic lunch! Have you ever been to Comptoir Libanais before? Would you go after reading this post? Let me know if you go and what you think.
*I was kindly invited down to Comptoir Libanais for a complementary meal between two, to try their vegan menu. All views, photos and words are as always my own.