Review on Al Hamra
For more than two decades, Al Hamra has built on its reputation as one of the seminal Middle Eastern restaurants around Shepherd Market. Oddly, it takes its name from the Al Hamra Palace (or 'Red Castle') in Granada, Southern Spain – although there's nothing Moorish or Iberian about the food.
Crowds continue to flock here, and there's always a buzz, whether you are sitting outside watching the world go by, or soaking up the atmosphere in the elbow-to-elbow dining room. Meals begin with a harvest festival of salad vegetables, plus bread and olives (which accounts for the cover charge), and it can take a while to take in everything on the 100-dish menu.
Mezze get top billing and they provide a comprehensive trawl through the classic Lebanese/Middle Eastern repertoire. Here you will find tabbouleh, hummus and muhamara (crushed walnuts with chilli, oil and garlic) as well as raheb (roasted aubergines), kibbeh nayeh (spiced minced raw lamb with crushed wheat) and a host of other delicacies.
Main courses rely heavily on the output of the char-grill, which delivers heavy doses of animal protein – perhaps shawarma (lamb marinated in vinegar and spices) and farruje meshwi (whole poussin with garlic sauce). Desserts are mostly sticky pastries and exotic fruit. The wine list kicks off with a few Lebanese bottles, although France is the main player.
Al Hamra is also featured in: Michelin Guide, Good Food Guide, Hardens, AA GuideRate this Restaurant
Restaurant Opening Times
Lunch: 12.00 through until
Accepted credit cards
Visa, Master Card, American Express