Manousheh has reached the food market of London. Now it remains to be seen if the popular Lebanese dish manages to carve out a niche in the cut-throat food market of London. Bassam and Samer Chamoun, two brothers, have launched the Lebanese street food into London, with the hope of spreading the magic of these flatbreads in the city.
The Lebanese Bakery, located behind the “Theatre Royal” which is in the vicinity of the Covent Garden, introduced the taste of Beirut to the capital of Britain. Over the years, the British city has made a place for itself among the “hottest culinary destinations” in the globe.
Although, one can feel the presence of other Lebanese restaurants in London, none of them have been exclusive on manoushe. With an outlet in their hometown, the Chamoun brothers decided to explore London’s market as they said: “We strongly believe that the brand will be even more successful outside Lebanon as our product is new and unique. Brits tend to embrace any new concept that is true and loyal to its origins and we offer an ethical experience beyond just the food experience.”
Both the establishments offer same menu, as a result Londoners get taste delicacies like “zaatar and sujuk”. Moreover, the menu also offers a variety of “meat and cheese-filled manaeesh”, baked in “an Arabic basalt rock oven”. Furthermore, the restaurant also features “bite-sized mouajjanet bakes and kaak breads, as well as sweet manaeesh”. While, the Chamoun brothers added: “We are excited to bring a taste of Lebanon to the United Kingdom, especially London, which has one of the world’s greatest, and growing, food scenes”.
Interestingly, none of the brothers have a long food industry’s background, as Samer is an architect and Basam is into real estate. However, their professions do not take away from their deep commitment towards their baking which they consider as “a national treasure”, while both of them act as vessels for propagating the same into global platform. In the brothers’ words: “Manousheh is strongly rooted in our food heritage and tradition so we are thrilled to be able to offer Londoners Lebanese food that is both new and exciting, while remaining authentic to our roots.”
On a global front, the interest in manousheh seems to only grow with time.
The United States, given its Lebanese community, has more number of outlets serving manousheh, in comparison to the United Kingdom. Within a month of the inauguration of Chamoun brother’s spot has a “brisk daytime trade”. Curious office-goer, large flow of tourists, given the location, guided by their nose reach the Lebanese Bakery. In fact, Lebanese visitors too have discovered their home land corner in London.
The initial reactions look all good, and on TripAdvisor the place is decorated with five stars, while it has also made some local regular customers. Thirty three years old, Terrance, one such regular ones, working in the London School of Economics University, situated nearby, says: “I had eaten manoushe when I was on holiday in Beirut years ago, and I loved it but I had never been able to find it in London. It’s the perfect street food.”
While, Kate, a first-time visitor, reacted saying: “it can be hard to get Middle-Eastern food for a quick lunch in central London, so it’s good to find somewhere you can just pop into.”