In celebration of the new year and Veganuary, Comptoir Libanais invited us to try their new Vegan three course set menu costing £12.95. The Exeter restaurant itself has an incredibly warm atmosphere and the eclectic decor and bright colours are extremely aesthetically pleasing. Throughout the night, the staff were incredibly friendly and helpful, making for a really lovely dining experience.
The first course as part of the set menu was the mezze selection, with each diner receiving both their Red Pepper Hommos and Quinoa Tabbouleh. Both dishes work well together in the contrast of the filling, relatively plain, smooth hommos and pitta breads and the lighter tabbouleh which was very fresh and textured. Both mezze options were served in relatively large portions, both of us unable to completely finish either and could have easily shared one selection between us both.
For the main course, there is a choice between an Aubergine Tagine or a Cous Cous salad with Grilled Pepper, Roasted Squash and Mixed Nuts, so we ordered one each so we could try both. Both of us loved the Aubergine Tagine, which was very light but still filling with a slight comfort food air to it and incredibly tasty. The cous cous was also very tasty but felt more like a large side dish rather than a main course in its own right, so sharing the two between us ended up working very well. As with the starter, the portions were very large and we didn’t quite manage to finish either dish.
For dessert, there is a Coconut Mouhalabia with mixed dried fruits, and we also were given some complimentary baklava. The Mouhalabia was the perfect dessert to follow the filling first two courses as it was incredibly light. We really appreciated the inclusion of the Mouhalabia in this menu as both of us felt we wouldn’t have chosen it of our own accord but were really glad that we got to try it, and would definitely order individually again. It was also made with coconut milk, so was quite unusual for a vegan dessert as restaurants often avoid milk-based dishes, which was really refreshing to see. The baklava was also really delicious and a lovely small sweet treat to end a meal with if you do not want a full size dessert.
Although not included within the deal itself, we were also invited to sample their fresh rose mint tea, both served during our meal as an ice tea form, and after our meal served in a silver teapot. Both options to drink the tea were delicious but we believe best experienced in its traditional hot form.
Overall, this was a fantastic dining experience. The menu itself was brilliant value for money. If we were to go again, we would potentially even share one of these menus between us and order a couple of extra sides as the portions were definitely large enough to share. There was no sense of sacrificing variety or taste to make these dishes vegan, and the menu allowed for a mix of both familiar and more unusual dishes. This menu, especially for students on a budget, is perfect if you’re looking to reduce your intake of animal products in the New Year.
Meal provided complimentary by Comptoir Libanais