We’ve had a wave of new eateries open up in Bath over the last few months, some exciting, some not so much. Sometimes I feel that Bath is becoming a city of restaurants and not much else. We have coffee shops galore (I’m not complaining!) and every week a new food hang out is opening. When I heard Comptoir Libanais was coming to town, instead of my usual roll of the eyes at yet another chain restaurant, I was excited. Comptoir opened their first branch in London in 2008, and up until 2015 only had branches in London. They are slowly expanding to other areas of the UK; Manchester, Leeds, Exeter and now Bath. This was one chain I would be welcoming with open arms.
Comptoir focus of Lebanese and Middle Eastern food. Their ethos is ‘fresh, healthy, honest and affordable’ – I can get on board with that. They offer a selection of mezzes, wraps, salads, Lebanese style pizzas, tagines and more. Their venues are bright and colourful and decorated with interesting details of decor.
We visited back in November for a mid-week meal. The venue had been open a couple of weeks, and was busy and bustling when we arrived. Every staff member we encountered was friendly, attentive and we felt like they really cared about their customers needs and wants. Our server raved about the falafel and encouraged us to try a dessert, even when we insisted we were full. She was not wrong, it was divine.
We perused the menu and chose some drinks, a fruity Lebanese red wine and an Almaza beer. We couldn’t decide what to eat so took advice from our server and went for the Dip Platter – a selection of hummus, baba ganoush and labneh, served with pickles and warm pita. The hummus was the smoothest hummus I have ever tried, with just the right amount of tahini taste coming through. The baba ganoush had a lovely texture, with aromatic flavours cutting through the slightly charred aubergine notes. The labneh was light and soft and didn’t seem to last very long on the plate. I would have been happy with this dish alone but there was more to come! We chose one of the traditional Lebanese flatbreads – mana’esh – and a tagine for our mains. Charlie’s tagine was a huge portion, and I could smell the spices used were authentic. My halloumi and zaatar flatbread was a lovely sized portion, and came with a side salad to off set some of the saltiness of the halloumi. I preferred the starter to be honest, but mainly because it was incredible and I love having a selection of small things, rather than one big main. That’s not to say my flatbread wasn’t tasty, I’d order it again any day! We were well and truly stuffed after this meal, but were encouraged to go for a dessert. We chose to share a frozen yoghurt with halva and roasted pistachios. It was just the right level of sweet, with a delicious nutty flavour from the pistachios. We left with full bellies and positive affirmations of this new chain venue.
Comptoir would be a great place for a gathering or get together, the venue is bright and spacious, with a view of the chefs too. The staff cater well for everyone’s needs, and the menu offers a range of options for even the fussiest of eaters. For more info, visit their website.
Disclaimer; I was invited to review Comptoir Libanais, Bath in return for a review. I was not paid for this post and all my opinions are my own.