- Location: 37a Curzon Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 7TX (nearest tube is Green Park)
- Date of Visit: Friday 15th April 2016
- Time of Table: 7.30pm
- Deal Bought From: Living Social
- Deal Price: £27 for two people
- Dinner Companion: Twin sister and bestie Jess
Getting More for your Money?
This dinner deal includes:
- Starter to share
- Main course each
- Dessert to share
- Food provided from a set menu
- Glass of Prosecco each
What I ate…
- Starter: Hummus, Mohammara, Mamounia Tabbouleh, Grilled Merquez, Lamb Meshoui Brioat, Falafel and Bourek
- Main: Lamb Kofte
- Dessert: Baklava and Pastries
What I drank…
- Glass of Prosecco
- Two large glasses of white wine (not included)
What did we think?
Tottering around London’s Mayfair approaching Mamounia Lounge, you are instantly hit by an exuding air of opulence. Puffs of shisha smoke cloud the darkening evening light, the outdoor patio surrounding an impressive, central revolving door. With midnight black awning and matching restaurant signage, you feel like you are about to enter a five star nightclub, the gentle beat of music enticing you towards the Turkish themed venue.
Upon entering, you are greeting by yet more luxury. The reception desk and cloakroom sit to the left, next to the stairs leading to the downstairs seating area. To the right, pink and purple under lit tables and squidgy seats sit neatly next to a circular bar. With the main lighting kept on the down low, Mamounia Lounge is all about creating atmosphere and an air of exclusivity. After dropping off our coats, Jess and I descended to the seating area downstairs, continuing to be blown away by the magical aura of the restaurant. Soft pink and purple lighting flooded the room mistily, giving almost a whimsical and dream like feel, the Turkish inspired music loud enough to fill the cavernous underground space but still easily quiet enough for conversation. Our table was tucked in the corner opposite a long bar, with cushion laden sofa style seating one side and a cushioned dining chair the other. Our table was decorated with a glass Moroccan style candle holder, the flickering flame adding to the low lighting, our cream folded napkin adorned with a single red rose petal for impact.
Even though our table was booked for 7.30pm, we were only the second table with people there for dinner – I get the impression that Mamounia Lounge is very much a night time haunt. Settling down at our table, a waitress arrived to explain the menu to us, also double checking that we wanted Prosecco rather than a soft drink for our included free drink. After scoffing at the soft drink option we listened as she revealed that both the starter and the dessert was a set sharer, with no choice in the matter whatsoever. We had a choice of four different main courses from a set menu, so we would only be picking one of our courses this evening. I must confess, I did find this really odd as nowhere on the voucher did it mention these limitations, however I do appreciate that a three course meal for two at £27 is on the cheaper side, so the venue maybe had to do it this way to manage their costs. Whatever their reasons, it should have been stated on the voucher information in my opinion as this is extremely restricting.
Nonetheless, I was looking forward to getting stuck in to our starters, a mezze style sharing platter, presented on a rectangular wooden board alongside a woven bowl of round, slightly domed white bread. This will sound wrong, but the bread looked like a pair of breast implants in both size and shape! The variety included on the starter was great, the combination of colours, textures and shapes looking like a treasure cove of Turkish foods. Apostrophe shaped swirls of hummus framed the end of the wooden board, one end showcasing the smooth variety, the other a chunkier blend. Baby samosa and spring roll type nibbles housed cylindrical piles of brightly coloured food – one a red rice like tower, the other a green, veg like mix. A spicy falafel type ball peppered with sesame seeds made an appearance too, as did baby sausages for a meaty hit. The variety was spectacular and the full on flavours were fantastic in their own rights, let alone served together and combined in this creative fashion. A very hands on starter with forks waved akimbo, but great fun and very tasty indeed. We also made sure to dunk our rolls not only in the hummus, but in the spicy chilli dip or the milder garlic and herb dip. Delicious.
Our options for main course included a couple of varieties of tagine – the great Turkish classic – as well as a baby chicken dish or a lamb kofte. I decided to go with the lamb kofta, the skewers served with onions , pickles and some other thrown together veg in semblance of a salad. Jess decided to pick the baby chicken, on recommendation of the waitress. The presentation of my main course was simple, the juicy skewers served at an angle across my plate, the corners clustered with mushrooms, onions and strips and slices of the salad components. Undoubtedly the lamb was the star attraction, with a gently spiced hum to the taste, a melt in the mouth texture and a generous three skewers worth. It may not look like much on the plate, but I was definitely getting fuller than I anticipated. With decorative flourished of flavourful sauces and spice sprinkles, it was simple yet tasty.
What would dessert in a Turkish venue be if it didn’t include the famed baklava. Pretty rubbish, that’s what. Despite being presented with the tiniest selection to share, the bite-sized pastry plate looked nice, a strawberry adding a dash of colour to the golden hues. The baklava was lovely – you really can’t beat the unique nutty, syrupy goodness of this flaky, think pastry dessert. The other nibbles were similar pastry based sweet treats, also similar in flavour and texture, just different shapes really. A satisfying blob of ice cream would have made all the difference in my opinion to upgrade it to a proper dessert but it was still tasty.
While crunching on dessert, the first round of entertainment started in the form of an elegant belly dancer. Clad in a pale blue bra and trouser number, her figure literally rippled to the music and you couldn’t help but be mesmerised by her. Spotting us and another table of girls, she instantly shimmed over, vying to get people to dance with her. Although a few succumbed, little did they know that Jess used to do belly dancing. She sauntered up on behalf of our table, rewarded by my loud whoops and cheers as her hips shook with aplomb. She certainly impressed the middle aged couple sitting next to us!
Just to let you know, we did have a few issues with our bill. Due to our voucher, this was only the additional glasses of white wine we drank, however some menus had one price – nearer the £6 mark – while other menus had a different price. Although there was only a £1 or so in it, if you have a few glasses each, this adds up and we questioned the bill when it came to more than we expected. The manager corrected our bill for us due to the error. Just something to be aware of when paying.
On the whole, I would say that Mamounia Lounge is about so much more than the food. It’s the vibe, the atmosphere, it’s that Friday night feeling personified into a living, breathing venue with a distinct mystical and magic aurora. The food was tasty and simple and I enjoyed what I ate. The menu was very restrictive which I wasn’t a fan of but I liked what I had so can’t complain too much, especially considering the price. It was a bargain and a great night out.