Saturday, 12 September 2009

Friday Night in Soho - Yalla Yalla and Jrink

When I close the office door behind me on a Friday evening and burst out on to the streets of central London, the feeling of relief of not having to return to work for a whole 72 hours is always a liberating one.

London is great in late September. The sun is still shining, the air is still warm and the evenings are still light.

I stopped off at Office in Covent Garden and bought a lovely pair of black boots (oops, naughty) before meeting some friends for drinks.

When I asked around the office for a good cocktail bar in Soho someone said try Jrink. It’s at the top of Frith Street near Arbutus. Just £4 for cocktails at happy hour between 5pm and 8pm and it wasn't ridiculously busy like most bars on a Friday night. We knocked back some rasberry Mojiots in quick succession.

The night's mission was all about visiting the new Beirut street cafe Yalla Yalla. Since receiving a glowing write up in the Metro and and similar praise from Charmaine Mok in Time Out, it's been hard to get a table.

Down an alley of sex shops, Yalla Yalla makes for a wholesome contrast. We didn’t realise it was quite so cosy.

There's just a handful of seating, dotted around, in front of a counter laden with baklava, pickled chilli and Lebanese pastries.

If you're after a boozy Friday night, this probably isn’t the place for you, but for a homely lunch or afternoon catch up with a friend or two it's perfect.

Yalla Yalla is snug and inviting and serves up simple but tasty Middle Eastern treats. We had babah ghannouj, hummus and fattoush salad followed by a mixed meat grill and moussaka with rice, and flat bread that lived up to its name wonderfully, eg. very flat!

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