Sitting snugly amongst the various boutiques of Wigmore Street is Le Comptoir Libanais, a Lebanese café-come-delicatessen that oozes Middle Eastern style and elegance. Perfect for lunch, an afternoon snack or relaxing herbal tea, Le Comptoir is a refreshingly peaceful spot amidst the bustle of Oxford Circus.
Upon entering, what first strikes you is the vibrancy and colour of the shop, personally bringing to mind rather nostalgic memories of Disney’s Aladdin – the closest contact I’ve had with Middle Eastern culture! Crazily simple patterns grace the furniture in subtle tones that compliment Le Comptoir’s lively but laid back vibe. This ambience is reflected throughout the café; the staff are friendly, the food is simple but delicious and the merchandise they sell is not aggressively thrust upon your pupils from all angles. Woven bags, traditional Middle Eastern garments and various edible products such as pickles and spices line the walls, and whilst they are all for sale, they also act as decorative features. It captures the charm of a foreign markets, without the noisy street vendors’ assaulting your ears!
[A brief note of credit to http://sayfoodsayme.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/le-comptoir-libanais-wigmore-st.html where I nicked a couple photos – they were too good not to borrow! Check out his review too while you’re at it!]
If you come here for a spot of lunch, think perfect portions, buzzing conversation and Middle Eastern food. That’s mezze, kofta, man’oucha, tagines and baklawa… didn’t understand any of that? Check out their website where they have their own food guide so you know exactly what you’re eating! Personally, I’d recommend their fatayar, a light pastry filled with spinach, cheese and pine nuts… a kind of vegetarian croissant of sorts. But all the awards would have to go to their Rose Mint Tea. Twinings Mint Tea is pretty good, Fresh Mint Tea is several levels up, but Le Comptoir’s Rose Mint Tea is an oral experience [say what!?] that is wonderfully therapeutic, and feels like the “taste of the Middle East” that Le Comptoir claims [with every right] to be on their website.
Anything else? it’s reasonably priced – we’re talking multiple bangs for your buck – and supports a BYOB policy. Oh, and has multiple stores around London from the Westfield W12 to to the… Westfield E20 – no excuses!
Location: 65 Wigmore Street, W1U 1PZ [Oxford Circus]
Suitable For: Chatting with Friends, Dining, Something Different
Dining: Lebanese Dishes and Snacks
Price: Cheap and Cheerful
Tips: The floor may hypnotize you.
Wow Factor: stunningly authentic Lebanese food an vibe, Rose Mint Tea.