At a time when certain restaurants in the Metrocentre seem to be struggling for trade, Fattoush Lounge has open its doors. Located near the entrance on the 1st floor to the Yellow car park, there have been a few establishments come and go in the same spot in recent years. It seemed busy when we walked past after shopping and decided to pop in and give it a try.
The blurb on the Intu website states Fattoush “delivers authentic and delicious Lebanese cuisine in a friendly environment. We pride ourselves on delivering consistently first class service with a clear focus on freshly prepared dishes that satisfy every appetite”. My concern was not my appetite, however, but my dietary requirements. The menu did not mention vegan or allergens so I asked the waiter what I could order.
He said he’d get the allergen book for me and returned with laminated cards that didn’t mention the foods I would have presumed were suitable, like the hummus and falafel. I was a bit taken aback that they are able to have such scant information on what their food contains in this day and age. The sheet even said cheese didn’t contain dairy!
I reiterated I couldn’t eat dairy and eggs and asked if the falafel was suitable. He said it was and that it was made using traditional recipes. I’ll admit to taking a bit of a chance as the staff we encountered seemed clueless. In hindsight I should have walked out when they handed me the cards. After all, Yo Sushi and Wagamama are just across the way and seemingly have a better grasp on what their food contains.
We ordered hummus to start with and I had the falafel wrap for main course. I asked about their flatbread and was told it was vegan-friendly. I was served a garlic yoghurt with my meal but obviously didn’t eat it. It seems like the conversation about my dietary requirements went straight out of the window.
The food wasn’t bad although I felt underwhelmed by the hummus. I’m a bit of an aficionado as a vegan and felt it lacked the lemony tang I expect from a good homemade version. The falafel was on the crumbly side, too. The portions were generous and, with drinks, the bill came to less than £30. We had leftovers but they forgot to box them up for us even though we reminded them.
The service is something that let the whole experience down. While I don’t expect staff to know the far end of everything on the menu, I would have hoped a little more knowledge on dietary requirements, especially in light of the situation with the cards. I can’t be the only vegan they’ve encountered, surely? If you have an intolerance or an allergy I wouldn’t recommend eating here. Better to go somewhere like Papa Ganoush instead.
Thanks for reading,