Al Sultan

  • Restaurants
  • Lebanese
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Al Sultan is very down to earth, given the history of its location – the atmospheric, villagey Shepherd Market area of Mayfair has a scurrilous reputation stretching back centuries. The district has seen a raucous annual cattle market banned in 1764, the most fabulous excesses of the jazz age and some very high-class prostitutes, but here the atmosphere is wholesome rather than louche, and you’re served good Lebanese food by sweet – if easily flustered – waiters. A £2 cover charge gets you olives and crudités on the table on arrival, then you might order a few meze flanked by fluffy fresh bread: tart pickled baby aubergines with chilli and walnuts; comforting green beans with tomatoes, olive oil and garlic; a couple of crisp and gamey roast quail; luscious muhamara (walnut, pomegranate and chilli paste). But you can also go for a feast of grilled meats, or a traditional home-style dish like a thick disc of crunchy bulgur-based kibbeh stuffed with aromatic minced lamb and pine nuts, with cool yoghurt and cucumber to spoon over it. The excellent Lebanese wines are more expensive than the unexceptional house choices, but they’re worth the extra. A solid performer overall.


Venue name: Al Sultan
Address: 51-52 Hertford Street
Opening hours: Meals served noon-11pm daily
Transport: Tube: Green Park or Hyde Park Corner tube
Price: Main courses £15-£23. Cover £2. Minimum £25