I love tagines. But it is hard to find a good one in London. I’ve been on a bit of a quest.
I went to Comptoir Libanais because they claim to serve a tagine. They also always a queue, and whilst I’m impatient and hate queues, I do place some trust in the wisdom of the crowd.
This evening, my trust was misplaced. Comptoir Libanais is distinctly sub par.
The queue was chaotic, with no real understanding of who was next, and when they might get a table. This annoyed me, so I pressed the staff for a table and got one quite promptly, but felt sorry for the others who were less firm. The queue was obviously broken.
One staff member repeatedly stepped on one of our coats, but blamed us, rather than apologising or suggesting a constructive solution.
The starters were ok, but the meal died as I watched them prepare my tagine. They brought out a large plastic tub of slop from a different unseen kitchen, poured it into a vessel in the visible kitchen, then spooned the slop into a tagine. This was not a tagine. This was slop served in a tagine.
Wikipedia confirms that the “dish that is named after the earthenware pot in which it is cooked”, except in this case, the tagine wasn’t involved in the cooking process. The result was a dish that was extremely dry, and didn’t taste of much. It missed the tangy and ripe flavours of a good tagine. My quest continues…
(apologies, no tagine photo, I was so distracted by the incident, I forgot to record it properly)
If you’re in the area, avoid the queue and go to Daquise instead, a delicious polish restaurant that’s really worth trying.
Address: 1-5 Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London