I’ve had my fair share of Lebanese and Turkish food, but it’s not often I get to sample the delights of Morocco.

In fact the last time I had a tagine was in Marrakech itself (you can read my review of things to do and what not to do in Marrakech here).

So when I was invited to review Leila Ealing, a halal Moroccan / Lebanese restaurant in West London, I jumped at the chance.

With my merry band of three, which of course included my little food critic, Hannah, off I went to west London.

Quite simply, I loved the decor of Leila restaurant. It was kitsch, cute and cosy. Flowers adorned the entrance, while the Middle East was evoked through floor seating as well as tables. And the mezzanine level was decorated with Fez hats, should you want to wear one.

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But onto the good stuff…

Starters at Leila restaurant

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Now if you ask me, Moroccan, Turkish or Middle Eastern cuisine is ALL ABOUT THE MEZZE.

And believe me, with my restaurant-hopping ways, I’m quite an authority on the subject. From the legendary lahmacun at Efes, to the juicy, more-ish Ezme salad (you can get the recipe for that here), starters are where it’s at. If you don’t order a mezze starter, you’ve made a big mistake.

The starters at Leila Ealing didn’t disappoint.

Lebanese Spicy sausage and fried potatoes

The sujuk (spicy sausage) was more tomato-ey than I’ve previously had, but still tangy and tasty.

We enjoyed a salad, which was topped with fried crispy bread (quite the contradiction but brilliant nonetheless).

I was less enthused by the pastilla djaj, a chicken stuffed pastry with saffron and almonds. This was mainly because it was a little sweet for my palate. But if you like your dishes more sweet than spicy, this might be for you.

The kibbeh, a crushed wheat paste stuffed with minced lamb was warming enough to be filling, but lightly spiced so even Hannah could enjoy it.

Speaking of toddler tastes, Hannah dived right into the fresh, lemon-y tabouleh, which was a serious mum win for me. The fact that she chose parsley over the fried batata darna (cubed potato) was a revelation and testament to how tasty the tabouleh was, especially as Hannah is normally a chip fiend.

But all of these starters were elevated with the help of the Lebanese dip platter.

A spread of hummus, baba ganoush, and pickles was just… well… mopped up with bread it was a meal in itself. And EVERYTHING is better with Middle Eastern pickles.

Mains at Leila restaurant

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Moroccan lamb tagine

Now this wouldn’t be a Moroccan restaurant review without sampling their tagine. And out super-helpful waiter advised us to go for he slow-cooked lamb.

And the hours of tenderising weren’t lost on us. Fall-off-the-bone meat in a rich, thick sauce… I have to say it was better than the tagine we’d sampled in Marrakech.

So if you’re looking for a Middle Eastern experience right in the heart of West London, Leila is worth a look.

Oh, and if you’re looking for an afternoon tea option for Mother’s Day, Leila offer afternoon tea with a Moroccan twist.

Leila in a nutshell

Price: Plenty of hot and cold starters under £5.

Halal: yes.

Great if…you want a Middle Eastern dining experience in the leafy suburbs.

Not so great if… hmm quite hard to fault… you like spicy mains? Then you need to head to an Indian restaurant.