Lebanese café and eatery Fattoush in Liverpool deserves its five-star Tripadvisor ratings – and that’s coming from a regular who’s eaten in and ordered takeaways there for the past two years. This friendly crew has kept me and mine in baklava – and pretty much the rest of the menu – when I couldn’t be bothered to cook (which is often).
Based in Hatton Garden, it’s an efficient, usually bustling restaurant. And it’s now doing deliveries and collections. Fattoush takes its name from a traditional Middle Eastern salad, a mix of chopped tomato, spring onions, cucumber, radish, herbs, roasted bread and garlic, topped off with fresh lemon juice and olive oil. It’s packed with nutrients, so in my book that clears the decks for the baklava. But more on that later.
Mo, the manager of Fattoush, gave Northern Soul an insight into what makes their Fattoush salad unique. “We use fresh pomegranate and pomegranate sauce. And vinegar as well, which isn’t normally used. It gives it the right taste. The Fattoush taste.”
Another good starter? Hummus dip (a vegetarian one again) was always part of the picture for us. It’s so freshly made that the olive oil is sometimes still pooling slightly on the top, and it’s good with the accompanying hot pitta bread.
“Hummus is our famous food, of course,” Mo says. “And we do it all fresh here. The chickpeas are soaked for 24 hours before we put them on the fire. After it’s cooled down, we mix it with tahini sauce and lemon juice, and a touch of cumin powder. There’s no yoghurt in ours because we want it to be vegan.”
That’s a couple of the many cold starters. There’s a long list of hot ones, too. The grilled halloumi was my go-to dish. It squeaked. And I liked that.
The Chicken tawook (chicken breast marinated in red sauce, grilled and then skewered with a wooden stick) was another staple. The mixed kebab is a hearty one, a combination of chicken, shish (beef) and kafta (lamb) kebab grilled over charcoal. It comes with salad, rice or chips like a lot of the dishes.
And to wrap up (always) – the baklava. One portion equals three pieces of filo pastry stuffed with pistachio nuts baked with butter, honey and sugar.
“I don’t make the baklava myself,” Mo says. “We have a specialist that does it. I’ve tasted it everywhere and we’ve decided to do it Lebanese and Syrian style which is less sugary than Turkey’s. They make it sweeter. Ours is a little healthier.”
It’s top notch, I can vouch for that. The other dishes sometimes alternated. Not this.
Images courtesy of Fattoush
Telephone 0151 538 0931 or order through Just Eat or Deliveroo.