Find this Lebanese stalwart in the heart of Shepherd Market, just north of Piccadilly. Although the tables are clad in crisp linen, they are close-set, so the restaurant isn't suitable for private conversations, but makes up for this in other ways - especially when the outside tables come into play, in fine weather.
Munch on crunchy salad, olives and bread while awaiting your meal - the set meals typically include a selection of hot and cold meze, something from the charcoal grill and if you still have room, a honey-sticky sweetmeat or two.
If you choose from the carte, you'll find over 50 starters, ranging from 'Barassia' (leeks in olive oil and lemon juice) to lamb's testicles and sweetbreads - perhaps to be followed by excellent kebabs or whole boneless poussin with garlic sauce.
A slightly-less ambitious 'branch' - Al Hamra Express - operates from 52 Shepherd Market (020-7355-3511).
- Food Style: Lebanese
- Lunch: all week; 12.00-23.30; set L £20 to £25
- Dinner: all week; set D £25 to £30 plus cover charge of £2.50
- Seats: 65, plus 24 outside
- Wine: a short wine list kicks off at £22
- Children's portions: Yes, when possible
- Wheelchair access: Yes, but not lavatory
- Nearest station: Green Park Underground
- Directions: Just north of Picadilly opposite Green Park, approach via White Horse Street. See the map on this page.
- Parking: Street parking, with difficulty
- Air conditioned
- Outside eating