Zenobia (Lebanese) – South Kensington

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Zenobi London Lebanese Restaurant Halal South Kensington

Zenobi London Lebanese Restaurant Halal South KensingtonAs strikingly attractive as Zenobia looks from the outside, we ended up driving past it twice on account of the absence of a clear nameboard.

In any case, once we did find our way there, we couldn’t help but be struck by its lavishly dark and extravagant decor. With a flight of stairs immediately descending to the ground floor via the entrance, the main dining area on the ground floor extends and revolves around a large and opulent chandelier that enjoys center stage.

Having opened in November 2015, Zenobia is named after a third century “Warrior Queen” of the Palmyrence Empire, who is said to have conquered Egypt and challenged the might of Rome.

Zenobi London Lebanese Restaurant Halal South KensingtonA lounge room adjacent to the kitchen downstairs can accommodate up to 70 and offers electronic Shishas which, Zenobia’s website peculiarly states, “is the closest yet healthier alternative to smoking tobacco” (italics ours)!

Be that as it may, upstairs they have a posh private TV and dining room with a seating capacity of 10, and which can only be booked with their à la Carte menu.

We, on the other hand, were here to try some of the newly added dishes to a menu that was updated in August of last year.

Unfortunately, with no ice available on the evening, the option of trying any juices, let alone their mocktails, was apparently off the table.

On to their Mains then!

MAINS

Shish Taouk chicken Zenobi London Lebanese Restaurant Halal South Kensington

Shish Taouk – Charcoal grilled skewers of marinated chicken £16.50

The chicken was decently cooked enough, with a nice springiness to it, and a subtle marinade.

However, and despite some light charring, it didn’t quite deliver on that distinct charcoal grilled taste one would hope for.

Additionally, the light, whispy garlic sauce tasted a little like garlic yoghurt more than anything else, while the rice was al dente.

Average at best!

Chicken Tagine Zenobi London Lebanese Restaurant Halal South Kensington

Authentic Chicken Tagine – Half Chicken marinated in a Lemon, Onion, Olive and Saffron Sauce Served with Saffron Potatoes,preserved Lemon and Olive, served with couscous £17.95

We weren’t all on the same page with this Chicken Tagine.

While one enjoyed it far more than the others for its perceived fragrance and intensity of flavour – the soft chicken literally falling off the bone, the sauce packing a solid punch, and the potatoes and carrots incredibly soft and complimentary – the others thought it was good without being equally overawed.

Each to their own, as they say!

ZENOBIA SPECIAL

sea bass Zenobi London Lebanese Restaurant Halal South Kensington

Char-Grilled Fillet of Sea Bass – Served with lemon butter, fresh red & green chilli, garlic & coriander £17.95

While the presentation wasn’t quite up to the mark, this gorgeous piece of chargrilled fillet of Sea Bass was not only beautifully cooked, but delightful in taste too.

Soft and flaky with a lemony base and a hint of salt, the edges were lightly charred enough to offer that crispy contrast.

What’s more, it went really well with the earthy spinach ball filled with pomegranates which themselves provided that burst of sweetness to offset the heat generated by the thin slithers of red and green chilli.

COLD MEZZES

Mezzes – literally “taste” or “snack” as it’s called across Eastern Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Arab countries.

Zenobi London Lebanese Restaurant Halal South Kensington

MoutabbalWarak EnabTabboulehHommus
Zenobi London Lebanese Restaurant Halal South Kensington

Moutabbal – Charcoal grilled aubergine puree mixed with sesame paste (tahini) & lemon juice £5.75

Though not the best Moutabbal you’ll ever have, this was tasty in its own right.

Fresh with that familiar smooth, gooey consistency, this didn’t deliver on the charcoal grilled taste promised on the menu, but with a tasty lemony undertone, the surprising addition of pomegranates had you coming back for more.

Zenobi London Lebanese Restaurant Halal South Kensington

Warak Enab – Vine leaves filled with rice, tomato & parsley cooked in olive oil £6.00

Beautifully smooth, almost paste-like interior, with a squeeze of lemon over the earthy vine leaves.

Tabbouleh Zenobi London Lebanese Restaurant Halal South Kensington

Tabbouleh – Parsley salad with tomato, fresh mint, onion, crushed wheat, lemon juice & olive oil dressing £5.50

Standard Tabbouleh comprised of fresh parsley, bits of tomato and the squeeze of lemon juice running in the background.

Hommus Zenobi London Lebanese Restaurant Halal South Kensington

Hommus – Homemade chickpeas dip with sesame sauce (tahini) & lemon juice £5.25

Can’t go wrong can you with hommous? Decent with a smooth consistency.

HOT MEZZES

Chicken LiverGrilled King PrawnCalamari
Chicken Liver Zenobi London Lebanese Restaurant Halal South Kensington

Chicken Liver – Seasoned chicken liver sautéed in lemon juice & pomegranate molasses £5.99

Managing to retain a bit of a bite, these really well cooked chicken livers – soft and pink on the inside – were incredibly tasty, enjoyed even by the Lion who’s generally not much of a fan.

They had a mellow lemony hint to them and were resting in a fairly rich pomegranate molasses sauce.

The usual garnish of pomegranates and coriander gave this some much needed colour too.

prawn Zenobi London Lebanese Restaurant Halal South Kensington

Grilled King Prawn Served with lemon butter, fresh red & green chilli, garlic & coriander Crustaceans £8.95

Soft and succulent with a hint of garlic, and some heat from the chilli that was well tempered by the lemon and coriander base.

Very satisfying indeed!

calamari Zenobi London Lebanese Restaurant Halal South Kensington

Calamari

A little chewy, though incredibly crispy, these calamari were the same as any others you might find here and there.

The sauce was sharp and vinegary.

DESSERTS

cake Zenobi London Lebanese Restaurant Halal South Kensington

Selection of Cakes – Mille-feuille (left), Carrot & Date Cake (middle), Vanilla Cheese Cake (right-top)

We received an assortment of cakes that ranged from the decent to the sublime.

Since the mille-feuille wasn’t in-house made, the pastry base and top tasted stale with lots of subtly sweet cream inbetween.

The Carrot & Date Cake was better with an overall semi-soft texture and with bits of soft date interspersed therein.

The Vanilla Cheese Cake was, however, sublime – soft as you like, with the vanilla coming through well resting atop a delicate biscuity base.

dessert Zenobi London Lebanese Restaurant Halal South Kensington

Lebanese Rice Pudding With Rose Molasses – served with vanilla ice cream £5.50

The Lebanese Rice Pudding With Rose Molasses, however, was by far and away the best dessert dish, and, quite possibly, the dish of the evening!

The strong honey syrup on top sprinkled with almomd flakes provided that initial kick of sweetness that was cleverly counteracted by the rose water to allow one to enjoy the subtle sweetness of the soft and creamy, large-grained rice.

Uniquely different and absolutely delicious!

tea Zenobi London Lebanese Restaurant Halal South Kensington

Moroccan Tea £4.00 each

Finally, do not forget to assist your digestive tract before exiting Zenobia without downing some of this incredibly rich and crazily brewed Moroccan tea.

With an almost creamy consistency evidently achieved by the addition of condensed milk, this was deep and thoroughly comforting.

THE ROAR
Review 0
2.5 FTL's Roar
3.6 Pride's Roar (5 Roars)
Alcohol/ Pork?
  • YES/ NO
  • SHISHA
Facilities
  • CHILD SEATING
  • UBER EATS
  • JUST EAT
Summary
Zenobia is a well conceived and meticulously fashioned restaurant that offers a wide variety of Lebanese-inspired dishes.

And though its lavish interior gives it a touch of sophistication, its food, barring a couple of dishes, doesn't quite reach the same heights.

While it serves alcohol and houses a shisha lounge, the latter conspicuously located downstairs in the basement, it also offers live Jazz music on some evenings.

Menu Recommendation

Hot Meze - Chicken Liver

Main - Char-Grilled Fillet of Sea Bass

Dessert - Lebanese Rice Pudding With Rose Molasses (just don't forget the Moroccan tea)

FOOD
PRICE
ATMOSPHERE
SERVICE
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Zenobi London Lebanese Restaurant Halal logo

Zenobia
1 Gloucester Rd,
London SW7 4PP

T: +44 (0)20 7581 0022 | W: www.zenobia london | E: reservations@zenobia.london

Opening Hours: Mon-Thu: 10:30 – 23:30 | Fri-Sun: 10:30 – 01:30

Zenobi London Lebanese Restaurant Halal South Kensington Zenobi London Lebanese Restaurant Halal South Kensington

Zenobi London Lebanese Restaurant Halal South Kensington Zenobi London Lebanese Restaurant Halal South Kensington Zenobi London Lebanese Restaurant Halal South Kensington

Zenobi London Lebanese Restaurant Halal South Kensington Zenobi London Lebanese Restaurant Halal South Kensington Zenobi London Lebanese Restaurant Halal South Kensington

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