December 20, 2013 Middle Eastern, Old Town No Comments

Laila’s is new to Cockburn Street, brought to you by the team behind Hanam’s and Pomegranate. It takes over the premises previously occupied by Dello’s Kitchen.

Interior

Interior

As with Dello’s, the menu is an unusual blend of styles. Where previously there was Portuguese influence, now the dishes are mainly Middle Eastern, but with a curious peppering of other things, like burgers and fish ‘n’ chips. Spaghetti bolognese was their pasta of the day, today. I guess it’s a symptom of their tourist trail location, but it felt like an odd mix.

This was continued in the first dish I tried, with good smoky baba ghanoush served with something akin to focaccia (update – turns out it was freshly baked Iraqi samoon bread, made on the premises, each day). Sometimes these fusions work, but not really in this case, as a flatbread would have been far better for scooping the tasty aubergine goodness.

Baba ghanoush

Baba ghanoush

In the pause between courses, I took a moment to take in the freshly refitted surroundings, which are very smart indeed, with wood and olive tones to the fore.

The main course, a falafel wrap, was on much more solid ground. Accompanied with a simple salad and garlic, chilli and hummus dips, the wrap was generously filled. The wrap casing was a little too thick, but this was otherwise a very good dish.

Wrap

Wrap

I rounded things out with a bad restaurant espresso, so that’s an area that could use immediate improvement. Service could be throttled back just a notch, too, as while it was constantly friendly and speedy, there was just a little too much hovering. These are relatively minor quibbles, though, which are common to new places.

So overall, I liked my visit to Laila’s. Their dishes need a little refinement, but are very much on the right track. Their soup is provided by Union of Genius, so that’s always going to be a winnner with me. I’ll be back to try more of their menu, in 2014.

Scores
Blythe scores Laila’s
3.5/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
4/5 for setting
3.5/5 for service
giving an overall 14.5/20

I ate: baba ghanoush; falafel wrap

I drank: water, espresso

I wore: hot pink shirt

Total bill: £12

Laila's Bistro on Urbanspoon

Written by BKR