The aesthetic at this South Kensington Comptoir Libanais - one of nine now in London - is as colourful as the Middle Eastern food in which it specialises. Much of that colour comes courtesy of imported tinned goods and a colour scheme bordering on the bold - the large orange awning is an indicative intro.
The food - much of which is sitting appetisingly behind a glass counter - offers a whistle-stop tour of classic Middle Eastern cuisine. Expect, then, dishes ranging from houmous, labneh, tabbouleh and fattoush to falafel, sambousek, wraps, salads and meats cooked on the grill. Authentic tagines prove popular, too.
A short wine list is a little more international than the food, with bottles from France, Chile and Spain on offer. A few from Lebanon also feature. Cocktails, 'vodka lemonades', Lebanese beers, coffees and fresh rose mint tea - served in a natty silver teapot - complete the selection.
Renowned Beirut artist Rana Salam was commissioned to create the imagery for Comptoir including the artwork featuring Arabic actress, Sirine Gamal El-dine, which was inspired by a vintage movie poster. Sirine's smile can be found adorning the walls, menus and takeaway packaging across all of the restaurants having become the glamorous beacon of the brand. With brilliant red and brushed-chrome industrial stools, bold-patterned turquoise tables and monochrome geometric flooring, Comptoir really has to be seen to be believed. Decorative ceramic tiles are a feature of the restaurants, having been something that founder, Tony Kitous, grew up admiring at his grandparents' house.