Not too big on sauces heavy and thick? More about spices that carry a kick? There’s Lebanese restaurants in Manchester for you, all you gotta do is take your pick. That’s right, in case you weren’t already in the know, Lebanese food goes big on fresh herbs and spices like mint, parsley, oregano, garlic, nutmeg and cinnamon and doesn’t go to town quite so much on sauces that clog you up. It’s an admirable approach to cooking, we have to say, as it means the dish has nowhere to hide – if the flavour ain’t there, Lebanese chefs can’t cover that fact with a careless dousing of sauce. As such, when you visit a Lebanese restaurant in Manchester or indeed anywhere else, everything on your plate is going to be booming with its own lively, honest flavour.
We know, we know, Manchester loves its sauces and its dishes lubricated – you think we’ve never ordered two pots of gravy at a chippy before? – but bear with, bear with. You won’t visit Manchester’s Lebanese restaurants and feel like whatever dish you order is missing something. Quite the opposite, in fact. You’ll feel like it’s been thought about and put together by chefs who know the Middle Eastern kitchen like the backs of their pans. The common ingredients used in Lebanese cooking and thus the Lebanese restaurants dotted about Manchester complement each other just right. The herbs and spices we mentioned before, for sure, as well as plenty of fish and poultry, yogurt, chickpeas and nuts. Trust us, your food will be fresh and oh so zingy.
Yeah, we mentioned chickpeas, obviously. One thing we can guarantee is you’ll not seat your cheeks at any Lebanese restaurant in Manchester and find the place lacking chickpeas. Lebanese cooking depends on chickpeas like the Englishman depends on tea. Ok, maybe not that much, but chickpeas are damn important and that means you’ll find them on many a section of the menu in one form or another. Mashed as hummus, fried as falafel, dressed and garnished as a salad. Full of good stuff, keep in mind that when you’re reserving a table at any one of Manchester’s Lebanese restaurants, it’s very likely you’ll be getting your chickpea on at some point.
Much has been said so far about ingredients and individual foods that are big in Lebanese cooking, but when it comes to actual meals or signature dishes that Manchester’s Lebanese restaurants are serving, what’s the crack? That would have to be mezze – the Middle Eastern version of tapas that involves as many little plates of goodness as you care to indulge in – and popular Lebanese options that we know a few Lebanese restaurants around Manchester are definitely good for include all kinds of lentil soup, shawarma or kaftas on skewers with veg. Then you’ve got various types of strained cheeses, manaeesh (little pizzas) and batata harra, the spiciest and most moreish potatoes you’ll come across.
Our final word is this: no Lebanese restaurant anywhere in Manchester is complete without baklava. Not the best for your teeth but wonderful for your soul and just about everything else, this syrupy little dessert is nutty and sweet and its layers of filo pastry fall apart in your mouth like some other thing that’s just as irresistible. Baklava is eaten all over the Middle East and you’ll certainly find that each of Manchester’s Lebanese restaurants have their own take on it, but be assured that it’s almost always amazing and there’s very high potential for you to eat several million pieces of it before you up and leave.