Abu Zaad

  • Restaurants
  • Syrian
Critics' choice
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© Trisha de Courcy Ling

When this branch of the well-established Shepherd’s Bush original opened in 2009, the number of good Syrian restaurants in London doubled. In many ways the newer Abu Zaad is a generic Edgware Road Middle Eastern restaurant – no alcohol , tiled interior, big ornate lanterns, Arabic satellite TV, nutty music – but the menu lists many brilliantly executed Damascene dishes seldom seen in London.

A bowl of fattet hommos (£3.75) comprises chickpeas, crisp fried pieces of flatbread, and garlicky yoghurt, garnished with paprika and chopped parsley, served warm. Another vegetarian, main-sized starter is the hara isbah (£3.75), pasta strips cooked up with tamarind and lentil, mixed up with more of that crisp fried bread, then topped with fresh coriander leaves and big chunks of red-hued radish pickle.

Of course, the grilled meats are good too – minced lamb kebabs, for example, can be eaten wth a side order of freekeh (green, roasted wheat from the Levant) – but it’s the more unusual dishes, such as molokhia (Egyptian-style jute leaves – slightly bitter, slightly slimy – cooked with peices of chicken: £6) that differentiate it from the Lebanese norm.

Venue name: Abu Zaad
Address: 128 Edgware Road
W2 2DZ
Opening hours: Open noon-11pm daily
Transport: Tube: Edgware Road or Marble Arch tube
Price: Meal for two with drinks and service: around £30
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Average User Rating

3 / 5

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Been here a couple of times, but won't be going back. The food is good and the prices ok, but the service was extremely poor. We ordered three mains and a couple of starters, but were refused tap water. When we asked the manager - who happened to be walking by - he said if he gave us tap water, all others would want it too and that "would be bad for business". He walked off with the bottle of water we returned, but we weren't provided tap water throughout the dinner. Adding insult to injury, they added a mandatory 3 pound "cover charge" for service on to the bill. I guess restaurants are free to choose their policies, but Abu Zaad just lost a few customers.