Restaurant review – Koshari Street

Stumbling across Koshari Street in St. Martin’s Lane last week was one of those finding a £20 note in an old pair of trousers moments.

We were in the Big City for the Wednesday matinee performance of Shakespeare in Love. Yes, Wednesday afternoon. Still milking the newly-retired feeling before it becomes the when-do-I-have-to-work-next stage.

The main culinary event of the day was supposed to be an early supper at Hawksmoor, the uber-posh hand-reared corn-fed OMG-steak place. But in many ways, the cheap but oh so healthy & tasty Koshari Street Egyptian street food place, directly opposite the Noel Coward theatre, usurped it.

The proposition is very simple: enjoyed by thousands daily, this humble and healthy yet outstandingly tasty vegetarian dish of lentils, rice and vermicelli, topped with a spicy tomato sauce, chickpeas and caramelised onions, comes from the heart of Egypt and is a national dish sold on road side stalls and restaurants in Egypt.

The tomato sauce can be mild, hot or mad, the chickpeas and onions add good texture variations.

At just over £10 for 2 medium sized pots of Koshari, with all the trimmings, and some mini crispy pitta breads and hummus, this was amazing value for a kiss in a bowl, to plagiarise the bald, fat bloke from Masterchef.

We ate inside, teetering on top of stools in the narrow space. Definitely more a takeaway experience rather than a sit-down restaurant, but that doesn’t detract from the  enjoyable surprise we had at Koshari Street. A healthy, warming appetiser to a Shakespearian main course.

JR rating = 19

  • Food = 8
  • Service = 7
  • Ambience = 4

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