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Randa: Good value in Kensington
Although it goes by a different name, Randa is part of the Maroush chain. The food is Middle Eastern, the service friendly (though a little too prompt on the evening we visited) and the decor attractive.
We chose a selection of mezze dishes to share to start with - hummus (which was excellent), moutabel (an aubergine puree) and falafel. As well as these we were brought a slightly bizarre bowl of fresh raw vegetables - bizarre because most were left uncut and it rather dominated the table.
For a main course I chose sayadieh - a dish of flaked fish served on a bed of flavoured rice with a spicy sauce and fried onions. It was tasty but the onions were a bit overpowering and there was far too much for one person. Chris enjoyed his kebabs rather more I think. Our main dishes were served too quickly, when we still had some mezze remaining, which meant we either had to abandon these or leave the mains to get cold. We did the former, but it was a shame to leave dishes that were better than those that replaced them!
We were too full for dessert - until our waiter brought a plate of mini pastries and an excellent selection of fresh fruit "on the house" (pineapple, grapes, mango, melon, slices of orange and more!). We ended up sitting picking at these for quite a while and this turned out to be the most enjoyable part of our meal :)
With a bottle of Pinot Grigio between three of us we paid just under £30 a head - not bad for this pricey part of town. I would go back again, but maybe for a larger selection of mezze and no mains!
Favorite Dish: Not a dish, but the fresh fruit platter - a lovely freebie which we all enjoyed.
RANDA: LEBANESE LUXURY
Hard to believe this is actually part of a chain of restaurants. The modern, but inviting glass and chrome windows let you in on a warm looking scene. Inside you can smell the wonders being made in the kitchen even before the quick and efficient staff can greet you. A bowl of fresh salad and a plate of superb olives are immediately brought to your table while you agonize over all the lovely sounding choices on the menu. My warm hummus served with meat was a large and filling starter. I also had the mixed kebab. WOW! This wonderful meal was made with exquisite pieces of meat and just the right blend of spices. Every bit was a taste explosion. Served with an accompaniment of fresh flat bead and yogurt I was in 7th heaven after a long day.
RANDA is part of the Maroush chain of restaurants in London offering a variety of menus, décor and live music in some restaurants. The promise on their website that they are “A taste of Lebanese luxury in London”. They deliver what they promise. You cannot go wrong here. A great place for a romantic or family meal.
Favorite Dish: Starter: Hummus with meat. Main meal: mixed kebab. Drink: Glass of house red wine. A complete winning combination!
Please note: they charge a £2 cover charge, but that includes the salad and olives brought to the table. Actually a good value.
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