It's vibrant colours and bold flavours that rule the roost at Leila, where they serve up the authentic, soulful Lebanese food. Leila makes food that not only excites the taste buds, but also brings nutrition and health into the spotlight. For these guys, enjoyment and well-being go hand in hand – so we take a peek behind the scenes at their menu.
All about that mezze
Leila is all about showcasing the authentic flavours of Lebanese cuisine, serving cold and hot mezzes that are perfect for sharing, grill platters for the hungry and lighter options for the health-conscious.
We love the mezze, as you get loads of little bites of awesomeness. Go for Warak Enab – vine leaves stuffed with rice – or opt for the Mouttabal Debs El Remen, where delicate mashed aubergine and nutty tahini makes for a perfect accompaniment to some crispy traditional flatbread. A scattering of pomegranate seeds adds a splash of colour, and some extra sharp-sweet notes.
A breath of fresh air
Like many great restaurants, the inspiration behind Leila comes from a family culinary history. The eponymous Leila was just a little girl when she sat in the kitchen watching her grandma cook, and over the years she mastered many Lebanese recipes. She opened her own restaurant, and following its success there now are several restaurants serving her fresh, homemade food – including a handful here in the UAE.
It's all about feeling peaceful and chill here. In their own words, their food offers 'a much-needed escape from the fast-paced world'. So sit back, relax, and tuck into your Lebanese feast.
They've got all sorts of authentic eats on the menu here, with the Leila Light Chicken being up there with the most popular. Here you'll find sliced tender chicken marinated in mustard to reach an intensely rich taste, and served with grilled crispy potatoes, cubes of mild aubergine, onion and peppery rocket leaves.
If you fancy something meatier, explore the Kebab Bel Karaz, where succulent kebab meatballs come in a vivid red cherry sauce. The sweetness from the sauce and chewiness from the whole cherries work delightfully with the dark savoury notes of the meat.
Those who like things to be more modern can go for Pesto Ras Asfour, which fuses flavours from east and west – diced beef is served in a vibrant green pesto sauce, with a side golden crispy French fries.