Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Restaurant Review: Aqua Food and Mood, Coventry

Aqua Food and Mood is a Lebanese Restaurant situated on The Butts, Coventry (they've been there since May 2012 - before that they were on Gosford Street). I have known of this restaurant's existence for quite a while, but never got round to visiting before.

We finally visited last Wednesday. It was quiet in the restaurant when we arrived at 6.30pm, but it soon filled up. The decor in the restaurant is elegant, and the atmosphere was warm and friendly.

Abz (the owner) and the rest of the staff gave us a very warm welcome and Abz talked to us a little about Lebanese food and his restaurant background.

We ordered some Lebanese wine (about £16), which complemented the spices in the food very nicely.

As neither my husband or I had tried Lebanese food before, we decided to start with the Mezze Starter for two. This was a giant platter of various small starters. It sounds expensive at £9.99 a head, but for the sheer amount of food and the quality of the food, it was well worth it. It was also great to try a good mixture of Lebanese food.

Mezze Starter
The houmous was amazing - so smooth and soft and flavourful. It has ruined shop-bought houmous for me now! I've never liked falafel when I've tried it in the past, but this falafel was light and crispy and delicately spiced. I loved the flavours of the taboulleh and the sujuk (sausage) too. To be honest, I liked absolutely everything on the plate, but those were perhaps the highlights. This was a great introduction to Lebanese food!

For our mains, my husband had the Mashwi Imshakal, which included lamb, chicken and kafta kebab (not bad for £12.90), and I had the Kastaletta (£11.95) - lamb cutlets with a spicy sauce. 

All the mains were served with rice and salad. The lamb cutlets were very tender and beautifully caramelised and I loved the spices they were coated in. The spicy sauce was very spicy but also had a very nice tang to it.

I couldn't manage dessert after such a large starter and fairly hefty main, but we did have an Arak each as an aperitif. Arak is an anis-flavoured spirit made from grapes. We found it quite refreshing after the spicy food, although I would describe the flavour as interesting rather than something you can gulp down.

Overall, then, we had a great time at Aqua. The food was delicious and very good quality. We very much enjoyed our first taste of Lebanese food. We plan to return with family and friends, and hope to try a dessert next time!

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