Christmas is a time for catching up with good friends and it was in the company of a couple of academic colleagues that I went to Hiba for my first taste of Palestinian cuisine.
There was a queue out of the door when we got there and a bustling kitchen was turning out tasty looking takeaways to what seemed to be the entire student population of Holborn. The music was deafening, with the staff singing along to Arabic bangers and the whole thing made a welcome change from the crappy Christmas consumerism of the average West End street at this time of year.
The menu is classic Eastern Meditteranean – mezze (hot and cold), shawarma, kebab, salad etc etc. I ordered a lamb shawarma with chips on the side, and with that ayran – not a drink you see on menus very often. The ayran was perfect – fresh and tangy. The shawarma was a tightly rolled wrap of grilled lamb and onion which I slathered with homemade hot chilli sauce, spurning the fierce garlic paste. Chips were the one letdown, limp and oven-ready.
Sat in a booth and despite the noise we had a convivial chat in the company of a marvellous mixture of people. Recommended.
Blue Badge guide to London and academic specialising in early twentieth century history. Blogging on history, academia, and food and culture in the capital (and occasionally elsewhere).