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A night out at Meejana

Muddy heads for a Middle Eastern feast with live music on a Saturday night out at this well-loved Weybridge restaurant.

THE LOWDOWN

Meejana has been in Church Street, Weybridge for 11 years, run by husband and wife team Edward Terry and Rita Cherfan – and offers up top quality modern Lebanese food. A second branch opened a few years in Kensington, and a couple of months ago Meejana also moved into Windsor. Rita is the Lebanese half of the partnership, and also the executive chef and her menus give you a good choice of traditional mezze dishes as well as some ‘secret’ family recipes.

THE VIBE

The restaurant is on the corner of Church Street and Limes Road, and with a wide footpath at the front there’s plenty of space for outdoor seating. On hot days, the big glass windows open to bring the outside in.

Inside, the restaurant is split into three separate areas: the entrance is the bar area which houses a long polished bar and baby grand piano, the rear dining room with its vaulted ceiling and wrought iron chandelier and the main dining room just off the bar area.

There’s a cosy feel to place, with rich red curtains hanging from the windows, and a huge sofa with armchairs and coffee table dividing the dining space.

On a Saturday night – and the night we went – pianist Pasquale takes up residence at the baby grand and tinkles out some lovely tunes. It creates a great ambience, not loud and in-your-face, but classic, classy and subtle in the background.

SCOFF & QUAFF

The food is wonderful. I’ve eaten here before lunchtime, and the mezze is excellent – fresh and full of flavour. It’s an extensive menu with a lot of choices, so be prepared for some tricky decisions. As I’d eaten a range of mezze dishes on my previous visit, I decided to go with something like the Lebanese family style dish.

Mr M and I decided to share a couple of starters from the vegetarian hot mezze selection: a Kellaj Jebne -that’s halloumi cheese, thyme and tomato grilled in Lebanese flat bread to me and you – and the falafels. If you’re feeling adventurous, there’s a choice of delicacies that includes frog’s legs, snails, lambs tongue and chicken livers.

Moving on to mains, and I went for the Sabeedish with tomato rice – squid cooked in a herby tomato sauce – and Mr M chose the Samke Tajen (sea bass) with saffron rice. Everything was perfectly cooked. It’s all freshly prepared in the kitchen, and arrives quickly. The service is friendly and helpful.

We shared a bottle of the white Lebanese wine, a Sauvignon Blanc that was really lovely. But there’s an extensive drinks menu, and if you’re not in the mood for eating, you’re welcome to pull up a stool at the bar, take in the music and enjoy a cocktail or two.

We shared two scrummy desserts – the traditional Om Ali – described as a Lebanese bread and butter pudding, but in actual fact nothing at all like the English version because it’s about 1000 times better – and the crêpe apricot with rum and raisin. I’m glad we shared, as both were delicious.

KID-FRIENDLY?

Kids are welcome, and there are high chairs for babies and toddlers. The mezze style of eating is a great way to introduce food to your kids they may not be used to – there’s plenty for them to try, and bound to be something they love.

THE MUDDY VERDICT

Good for: This is great for groups, couples, girly get-togethers, families. 

Not for: It’s Lebanese food, so if you’re not keen on Middle Eastern flavours you probably won’t like it.

The damage: Mezze dishes are from £5-7.50 each, mains are from £13-£21.50, suggested menus are from £19-£25 per person.

Meejana, 49 Church Street, Weybridge, KT13 8DG. Tel: 01932 830 444. meejana.co.uk

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