Please note, Amoul has now closed. Time Out Food editors, August 2019.
Amoul has hit on a winning formula by finding a homely space on a villagey street amid the lavish white-stuccoed palaces of W9; filling it with flowers, candles and artistic black and white family photos; and serving above-average home-style cooking at prices the area’s residents can afford. It’s a charming spot, with engaging waitresses and Amoul herself – of Lebanese origin, with a self-published cookbook to her name – moving solicitously between tables and the kitchen. The food is predominantly Middle Eastern (including the breakfast menu at weekends, which contains the likes of eggs with yoghurt and cinnamon), though there’s also a strong French presence (steak, poussin), the execution of which influences the Levantine dishes. Samkeh harra came as a piquant fillet of sea bass with a side of spinach and a pot of tahina, rather than a heavy bowl of rice and sauce mixed in; and the flavour of loubieh bi zeit (green beans and tomatoes) owed more to Bordeaux than Beirut. But the food is none the worse for that – everything is freshly made, and around here, people don’t blink at the premium price tags for what are essentially café dishes.