This week my friends and I meet for our bimonthly restaurant outing at the Jeita restaurant in Guildford. This is a recently opened establishment offering Lebanese cuisine including wines.
The décor is light, roomy and modern with comfortable chairs grouped around tables for parties of one upwards. After a courteous welcome from the manager we studied the menu, which had exotic sounding dishes each excellently described in clear fonts. My reading glasses were not required.
We rapidly decided to have three starters to share followed by individual mains.
Our choices of starters were a hummus dish covered with thin layers of tender lamb, deep-fried falafel consisting four balls and a light dipping sauce and finally a mixed vegetable with pomegranate dish. These were served with a generous quantity of fresh flat bread.
All three were consumed with gusto, the only negative being that we could have eaten a lot more hummus. I observed that the falafel balls were the best I have ever eaten and I speak as one who will buy them at the drop of a hat.
For the main course, one of us enjoyed the mixed grill. This consisted of minced lamb, cubed lamb and cubed chicken with rice. The other devoured the lamb smothered in a spicy sauce.
I had lamb with okra and rice. This has a delicious, lightly spiced sauce and brought a big smile to my face.
Two extra sauces accompanied the mains. The first was a bright red chilli sauce that I approached with trepidation, having lost far too many taste buds to the pernicious plant. I was delighted to find it gentle on my palate and a true enhancement to the dish.
The second was an equally nice yogurt type mix that went well as a counter balance to the chilli.
Unusually, two of us chose to have desserts. We both chose Qatayef, a sweet dumpling filled with nuts and honey. They came in the form of two pancakes folded over to enclose the nut mix. The honey was light and not too sweet. Simply put, it was delicious.
To wash down this feast of flavours, two of us consumed a tasty Lebanese red wine (14%) while our nominated driver enjoyed his sparking bottle of water. Table water was also provided.
All three of us agreed this was an excellent meal and that it should get the full five stars out of 5.
As is our habit, we split the bill three ways, coming to £37 each. (Don’t worry about this being unfair to the driver, we take it in turns.)
The Jeita is located at 50 Chertsey Street, Guildford, England.