Location: High Street, Wimbledon
Description: A contemporary Middle Eastern meets European vibe, Layla recently opened a restaurant in Wimbledon following its original location in Esher, Surrey. The Wimbledon venue combines a bar area with comfortable lounge seating with a restaurant which has intimate alcoves and space for larger groups.
|mixed mezze selection|
Reason for visit: I was asked to visit the restaurant and offered a complimentary meal for two in return for writing a review. I was not asked to write a positive review and I have given my honest opinion.
I ate: I shared the mixed mezze selection as a starter. For £8.45 you get falafel, warm pitta bread, houmous, cheese bourak- filo pastry filled with cheese- and kibbeh, which is a mixture of finely ground beef with bulgur wheat. For the main course I chose the house speciality lamb dish, the Layla lamb shank, a braised lamb shank served with oriental rice with a cinnamon sauce and garnished with nuts, £19.95. For dessert I decided to try something I had never had before, the karabeej halabi, small pastries filled with pistachio and served with cream, £5.50.
|Layla lamb shank|
My companion ate: as well as our shared starter, she ordered the lamb meshwi, described on the menu as 'tender lamb fillet pieces chargrilled on a bed of roast vegetables, served with mint yogurt sauce, salsa and vermicelli rice', £19.95. For dessert she ordered one of my favourites, baklava (£6.05) which we shared.
Price range/value for money: our main courses were at the most expensive end of the scale but there are plenty of dishes around the £15 mark, but I fact most main courses seem to be around £16-£20 - that may be a reflection of the Wimbledon village location but also the quality of the food. The baklava may sound expensive at just over £6 but the dessert was plenty big enough for two to share. The house white wine was very reasonably priced, and delicious.
Would I recommend it? Absolutely, the food was excellent and service was good, and I like the fact that the restaurant can cater to large groups but there are still plenty of alcove tables where you feel like you can have a quieter or more intimate meal. I liked the look of a lot of the fish dishes on their menu too so if I come back, I would definitely try that!
Thanks to Layla restaurant for the complimentary meal for two.