Great Lebanese street food restaurant down an alley in Soho. I went near my birthday this year and we and all the classics - moutabel/baba ganouj, tabbouleh, some great houmous with schwarma and some other dishes. Intimate feeling with friendly staff.
Rob Greig / Time Out
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Wed Jun 13 2012
Soho’s lively little Lebanese hub continues its success, judging by the numbers who cram around the tables in the distinctive yellow, black and white interior. At the back is a counter stacked with ready-made wraps to take away.
This cheery café is a world away from staid traditional Lebanese restaurants. There’s none of the formality (or the space), but the standard of food is just as high. On a recent visit, we loved the tangy stickiness of sawda djej (melt-in-the-mouth chicken livers), which, in this version, came in a dark sauce sweet with pomegranate seeds. Falafel made a great contrast: soft, cushiony insides and crisp shells, served with a generous portion of tahina. They went well with the dense, garlicky houmous too. Manakish zaatar was perfect: pitta bread drizzled with olive oil and dusted with lemony zaatar spice, warmed in the oven just enough to let the flavour flood out: simple but delicious.
Yalla Yalla is popular as a lunch spot – and staff can get overwhelmed – but it’s open in the evening too, and serves grills and mains alongside the meze all day. It also has an extensive, largely Lebanese, wine list and cocktails.
Yalla Yalla 12 Winsley Street
- Venue phone:
020 7637 4748
- Venue website:
- Opening hours:
Meals served 11am-11pm Mon-Fri; 11am-11.30pm Sat
Tube: Tottenham Court Road tube
Main courses £4-£13.75. Set lunch £7.50 2 courses
- 12 Winsley Street
- 020 7637 4748
- 12 Winsley Street
- Yalla Yalla
Average User Rating
3.5 / 5
- 5 star:9
- 4 star:5
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:6
I likw the atmospere and the food is quite nice. Yet it basically is a take away with seating provided that seems a bit overpriced to me. Also half of our party arrived late, so we wanted to wait with ordering food until they arrived, so we decided to have a drink in the meantime. We got told though that alcoholic drinks only get served after the purchase of food which seemed a bit annoying..
A delightful experience, not a bad dish in the bunch. We had a lovely time- beautiful flavours and great service.
"we don't seat you until all your party are here" said a surly waiter. I responded that my "party" (one other person) would arrive in minutes and I would like to sit down and order a drink. He said no, then consulted the manager who was even more brusque in his dismissal of my outrageous demand. Something along the lines of "we can't have customers filling up the tables while they wait". The restaurant (early evening) was only 1/4 full. I was told I could sit outside and have a drink. I sat outside but didn't order anything and watched with amusement as one of the chefs came out to take delivery of a pizza. "for the kitchen staff" he told me. So this is a restaurant with front of house staff who don't like the customers and kitchen staff who don't like the food. Go figure. And in an area rammed with alternatives. We went to ping pong round the corner where the staff were delightful and the food good.
I went to Yalla Yalla on Winsley Street with my best friend tonight. We'd like to express our disappointment of this place which was overcrowded and too noisy that we had to scream over the table and also food. We both ordered chicken shawarma and it was very dry, we thought it was obvious that adding some sauces selection would be a solution for that. We were so unsatisfied with our meal that we decided to go for dessert to make our moods better but it was also kind of ok-ish. There is no wide selection of desserts and most of them are not available. So on the end the only good thing we had was lemonade. We left the restaurant very disappointed and not satisfied at all considering the amount of money that we spent. We don't really understand why is it in top ten. I definitely don't recommend this place.
Avoid!!! extremely bad customer service and food is ok-ish... don't waste you time queueing for an average over priced meal. If you want lebanese, stick to the usuals and avoid the trendy chains.
Nice place to go if your in the oxford street area looking for somewhere informal, for somewhere not too expensive and delicious food
Never ceases to deliver a great informal experience... Always really enjoy dinner here and a "go to" place if in need of somewhere to go...
A great place to go after a long shop. Good service- ordered the Christmas Meal and the food arrived promptly. A mix of different platters e.g. delicious spicy sausages, roasted scallops, pomegranate salads etc, followed by an exceptional slow cooked lamb. This is an easy going restaurant for people looking for a cheap bite and a warm atmosphere.
Might be decent and good value for money for a quick weekday lunch but this place shouldn't be an option for a proper meal. No one seems to be Lebanese there to start with and they seem to be victims of their success and resting on their laurels. Each time I called to make a group booking, a despicable person answered. The time I managed to get one, I was told that I had to fill a form and pay a deposit, which I was very happy to do until I was called a week later and told that my booking can no longer be taken because it's a "busy time" for the restaurant. Any good restaurant should be busy on a Friday night anyway and, apart from the food, the advantages of Lebanese restaurants in general are: They are convenient, unfussy and IDEAL FOR GROUPS, and clearly Yalla Yalla isn't!
Baba ghanuj is the best i had so far in London and Paris, the chicken liver with Molases is great too, was impressed with their wine list, try the St Thomas red Leb. Our waitress was so helpful also.will visit next time their branch in Soho while im in London.
think this is a brilliant restaurant. excellent value and high quality food. nice buzz about the place too along with great service. best place of it's kind by far!
Our office local for a quick lunch great mezzes and super wraps try the soujoc wrap (spicy sausage) quick and friendly service by eversmiling east european crew no mater how busy they are......well worth a visit
Excellent mezzes with professional and attentive service, staff seem to enjoy themselves and pass that on to their customers, would highly recommend the sambousseks stuffed with cheese or lamb and the hummus with lamb ..yummy.
First time visit for me this lunch and had the fortune of having one of the best kofta wraps I've had in London, the unit was very busy and the quality of the wrap and the friendly service was excellent.....highly recommend
Had the special offer for Lunch with a glass of water melon lemonade and the bill came only under £10.....EXCELLENT quality food and smiley service. Great bargain for the west end and specially for Market place area. Highly reccommended.
Just had the worst experience ive ever had in a restaurant!! This place has the worst Manager in History at the WINSLEY STREET Branch, he has the worst Customer Service relations ever. Ive been in quite a few times here, recommended and taken friends and always enjoyed the food. So i decided to try a take out wrap. Never again! the service was chaotic, the was no system to placing orders, people who ordered after me got the wraps before me, they couldnt find a card machine so was left waiting even longer, they had no idea what was under the toasting press, so they had to keep opening up everything which took longer. Ive been in places that serve taken away wraps which are toasted, and its never taken this long Now i explained this the the Manager, and my experience as a customer.......but he didnt want to hear any off it, all i got was explained over and over was that it takes time to cook the wraps. which i totally understand, but they could have speed it up by having a better system. so he keeps saying this, making me more angry, he just didnt want to hear my experience as a customer. He then basically told me to go away if i didnt like the service and never come back im very shocked by this, as all he need to say was that he was sorry, the sorry goes along way, and that he would look into it. Not much to ask, really, that way he would have kept me as a customer, and also all of my friends, im now going to tell everyone ive recommended it to NOT TO GO
I went to Yalla Yalla with 5 friends on Friday night, as nice as the food was, our evening was completely overshadowed by the appaling service we received. We were firstly given a tiny table to try and squeeze all 6 of us onto. We were then left waiting for at least 15 minutes before being asked if we would like to order drinks. After ordering food, 4 people's main courses arrived when we were still eating our starters and we were left to tidy the table to make room for the plates. The 2 remaining main dishes arrived after not only had the other 4 of us finished eating, but our plates had been cleared. There were no apologies throughout and all we were offered at the end were a few baklava. Not happy.