address: 432 Coldharbour Ln, Brixton SW9 8LG
telephone: 020 7733 3098
No website but Deliveroo have the menu here – https://deliveroo.co.uk/menu/london/brixton/ya-hala-brixton
We were searching for vegetarian or vegan food for “Vegan January”, while wishing it was February, when we came across the latest restaurant in Brixton. And hurrah, it isn’t a burger joint but fills a gap in Brixton, a decent Lebanese restaurant with a charcoal grill. Our first visit was positive and as it’s right opposite the Ritzy in Coldharbour Lane, it should prove useful for a before or after meal, particularly when you are short of time.
address: Unit 9 First Avenue, Brixton Village SW9 8PR
telephone 0207 274 2816
This a trip down memory lane, as French and Grace was one of our initial posts. We went for lunch and here we are again … lunchtime … and on a strict timetable. The restaurant is one of the minority that are open on Tuesday and, even so, was sparsely furnished with customers although this is fast food, so there is a quick turnover. The eponymous owners used to run a supper club and then opened this restaurant in 2011 serving wraps. This remains their core business and we are pleased to see it survive in the now crowded food market of Brixton Village. Others have not been as lucky or have made it in a big way and now have extra outlets (e.g. Honest Burger and Mama Lan). French and Grace just have a travelling wrap shack (see http://www.frenchandgrace.co.uk/the-streets/ for their locations this summer). Continue reading
address: Unit 19, First Avenue, Brixton Village
email:firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
French and Grace is a duo who used to run a supper club and now run a small restaurant in Brixton Village serving wraps. And when we say small we mean small – there are only three tables inside which have the maximum number of seats with many stools, so you feel a bit like a sardine. There are tables outside in the arcade but even during the day these are only for the hardy in the cold months. The smallness doesn’t make this restaurant cosy. When we visited on a Friday lunchtime it was full inside and we sat in a corner table squeezing in beside the coats. Water arrived very quickly but after we had given our order it was very difficult to attract anyone’s attention – even to get a napkin – this is despite the cramped nature of the place where you can almost touch all walls at the same time.
The cuisine has a middle eastern feel to it. Mezze of hummus (their spelling) made of butter beans and rosemary, baba ghanoush (an aubergine pate) salted labneh (a kind of cheese) and tabbouleh. There are also wraps including “uber wraps” of flatbread lamb merguez and chargrilled halloumi and these were clearly popular as several people came for takeaways in the short time we were there. There were also “specials” and on the day we visited it was lamb meatballs in a spicy pumpkin soup. So we ordered the small mezze and the lamb meatballs.
The soupy meatballs was not really soupy at all – it was more like a thick slightly sweet sauce. It was also piping hot – so hot I decided to pour some of my water into it which made it much more pleaasant in temperature and much more like a soup. It allowed me to taste the meatballs which were a good consistency but perhaps in the hot soup lost a little of their flavour. The mezze was pleasant but tabbouleh in the middle east is usually very green whereas this was beige so it really did need more parsley and mint. Neither the hummus or salted labneh were interesting enough but the baba ghanoush was as good as we have eaten in Damascus.
They do not have a licence yet so they charge £1 for corkage per person. But they do have soft drinks, tea and complimentary cold water. The service on a slow lunchtime was inattentive – in fact we were astonished how hard it was to attract attention. But we have watched the restaurant on a Saturday night and we have seen better attention than we received. Price per person is about £8 per person which is reasonable.