A leaflet was dropped in my mailbox informing of the new-ish, fast-food-ish Lebanese grub clustered with MacDonald’s and English Language Schools near Holborn tube station, Hiba Express. Drenched in weekend laziness and feeling not bothered enough to pay a re-visit to Edgware Road, I went..
Hiba Express isn’t Beirut Express (which I love to death!!)…
The menu appeared similar. Traditional Lebanese mezze dishes, grills and wraps. The decor was sleek. The dining room was bustling. Despite all that, the service was not negligent. It’s not a place that would ever stop my heartbeat but it’s also a place I could feel bothered enough to go back.
On my visit, the Moutabal Baba Ganoush (1) was intensely smoky and velvety, though the dish lacked a distinct aubergine flavour. Tabbouleh (2) AKA chopped parsley salad with tomato and onions impressed me by this herbal explosion and freshness. Fried Halloumi (3) was utterly disappointing. The cheese did not squeak when bitten. The great sign for great halloumi is that it makes squeaking noise. Also was it too thinly sliced and had not been in the fryer long enough to boast a crispy skin.
Mixed Meat Sherwarma Wrap (no pic) was decent and filling. Generous spices in grilled lamb, to be more specific, which overwhelmed the chicken subtlety. Both of the meat, however, was on the dry side. Nothing to write home about but again it was agreeably edible. Hiba Arayes (4), to my surprise, was the dish of the night. Imagine da Polpo‘s Piadiana Meat Ball Smash but lighter. Crispy flat bread with enticing grill aroma sandwiching spiced minced lamb and chopped tomatoes. Finished with a squeeze of lemon juice. Gorgeous.
The meal concluded with Baklava (5). One was too dry; the other too syrup-y. I was picky..
Not a meal that changed my life. Definitely not. But Hiba Express is lovely.
.. tube commuters or those whose life has been snoozed by the disappearances of buses. Pop in and out at Hiba Express. The meal there won’t wow but won’t kill. And it won’t do much damage to your pocket. That night we paid about £30 plus fresh juices.
We were happy and we will go back ..
My head rating says, “7 out of 10″.
My heart rating says, “7 out of 10″.
113 High Holborn
Tel. 020 7404 7866