Abu Zaad is billed a Syrian restaurant based in bustling Shepherds Bush. Just as ceedoubleu suggested this restaurant is a perfect alternative to the ‘been-there, done–that, not-so-sure-now’ offerings found at the Westfield shopping centre. The thing that immediately struck me about this place on first entering was the welcoming sight of Arabic speaking diners tucking in. The interiors look a tad tired and the slightest hint of any resemblance to Old Damascus was duly acknowledged by yours truly. Like all Middle Eastern establishments in London, Abu Zaad’s ambience reminds me of a café but without the hookah pipes being smoked indoors. The service was relatively efficient, helpful and ‘ok’ friendly.
On perusing the menu, I thought aloud to myself that this couldn’t be Syrian cuisine (but then again what is?) especially if Moroccan tagine dishes were being healthily touted here and there.
We started with some excellent Kibbeh Shamieh (Deep fried lamb meatballs mixed with cracked wheat and mashed onions) and
a generous portion of delicious Falafel.
The shared mains of Farrouj Abou Zaad (Grilled boneless baby chicken) and Afghani Rice with Lamb were equally pleasing.
The poussin was beautifully tender and superbly seasoned. (Yes Sybil, burnt but not totally to smithereens)
The boiled lamb (not too unlike the Italian Bollito Misto), although melting was bland and needed some of the wonderful yoghurt and chilli sauce to give it some kick.
Afghani Rice With Lamb
Let it be known that the portions here are the absolute antithesis to Scrooge’s. Desserts were unfortunately left out this evening due to us being too stuffed.
I need to come back here to try out some of the other grilled meat dishes to see how it fares against my absolute reference of Mangal Ocakbasi Restaurant in Stoke Newington. On the account of dinner alone tonight, Abu Zaad is top notch and by George, it’s extremely cheap. Highly recommended.
29, Uxbridge Road
London W12 8LH