With its colourful interior which transports you to a souk-market setting and the relaxed and comfortable vibes, we're unsure why you'd want to 'take out' from Comptoir Libanais. Much more pleasant to stay and soak up the souk-like setting, than eat at your desk or on your sofa.
But if you really can't escape your office, or the latest binge-watch on Netflix, here's the solution. Comptoir Libanais now offers a take away service that offers you its wholesome, healthy Lebanese food, freshly chopped, just cooked and packaged to go.
We gave it a try last week, ordering over the phone then skipping over to Spinningfields to collect our goodies. The excitement in the office on our return was a little overwhelming (some people had to be physically restrained from snaffling the baklava before we got the photos). It was falafel fever, mezze mania. Thirty minutes later, there wasn't a chickpea in the house.
Here's what we had – there's lots more to choose from on the menu here.
Quinoa and Shankleesh Cheese Salad £8.95
This protein-packed, low GI salad is a good option for health-focused people craving something, anything, other than chicken for lunch. An apple and pomegranate vinaigrette gave the grains a natural sweetness. And the combination of ripe vine tomatoes, fresh mint and shankleesh (a Levantine sheep's milk cheese) won us over. Shankleesh is far from pretty – crumbly, aged and scattered with za'atar spices, it looks like it's been lingering at the back of the fridge too long. But put it in your mouth and all doubts will fade: smooth, creamy and surprisingly mild.
Chicken Taouk Wrap £5.45
Substantial and satisfying, this wrap alone will keep you full till tea-time. It was char grill chicken in flat bread, with a salsa of tomato, garlic, onion and parsley. It's one of the cheapest (and tastiest) choices on the menu. An easy, go-to option for lunch or for refuelling post-gym.
Lamb Maqlooba Tagine £11.95
This was a little too filling for us to consider as a lunch dish but it'd make a brilliant, guilt-free option for a Friday night takeaway. The slow-cooked lamb shank was juicy and tender, and the five-spiced aubergine gave it an earthy, Moroccan flavour. You can have this with basmati rice but we opted for quinoa to keep it gluten-free (and to up the protein levels). A good treat dish for repairing muscles after a work-out.
Mezze Platter £9.95 for one / £16.95 for two
Featuring tabbouleh, falafel, freekeh salad, baba ghanuj, hommos and warm pitta bread, this was grazing heaven. It was all made from scratch on site, and it tasted as fresh and wholesome as it looked. We love the integrity of Comptoir's food. It doesn't feel mass-produced, and they don't skimp on the costlier ingredients like fresh herbs and pomegranate. The result is that something as commonplace as a mezze platter becomes a standout dish.
We also ordered a side of fatayer spinach (because we'd heard they were something special). Made with feta cheese, halloumi, spinach and pine-nuts, it was a pastry parcel of gooey, salty cheese heaven.
Selection of Dips £8.95
Hummus had its own international celebration day recently, and why not, when it tastes like this one? Smooth not chunky, lightly lemony, and scattered with whole chickpeas, the chefs got the balance just right. The baba ghanuj was a beguiling mix of smoky aubergine and sweet pomegranate, and the labneh was a thick, yoghurty cheese, perfect for smearing on your warm pitta bread.
Tempted? Order take away by calling 0161 672 3999 or email 3 hours before you want to collect: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or if you'd rather visit and let the colourful surroundings whisk you away to somewhere more exotic then click here to book and let the team in Spinningfields look after you.