Part of a small chain of Lebanese restaurants and cafes, Maroush specialises in homemade breads, hot shawarmas of pitta filled with grilled meats, Lebanese pastries and impressive platters of moussaka, falafel and tabbouleh.
The smell of freshly baked bread wafts out the door as you walk into the bakery on Earls Court Road. Peel your eyes away from rows of freshly baked loaves and cakes on your left, and you see a whirring bread factory behind a glass screen, where over 9,000 Lebanese pitta breads, or khobez, are baked each day.
Specifically designed for this restaurant, the complicated series of rollers, racks and resting machines take the bread from dough to crisp baked bread, kneading, shaping and resting it along the way. The machine is so efficient, it only runs for 3 hours a day as it can make more bread than they know what to do with. That said, there are plans to expand the bread business and provide pitta bread to neighbouring restaurants, too.
Better for lunch than for dinner, there’s a cafe vibe at Maroush with small tables and counter service. Typical of classic Lebanese cafes in west of London, Maroush has a clean-cut look with hard surfaces, glass and mirrors. There are few soft furnishings, and a long leather seat runs along the back wall with small tables in front. Two larger tables hold groups eating together in the main part of the cafe.
A business lunch platter is just £15 and is a quick and filling way to navigate the best sellers on the menu. There are also set menus for two and four people including a mixed grill with all the trimmings.
It's hard to resist a carb-feast of hot, freshly made pittas dipped in creamy baba ghanouj, or the spinach, lamb and cheese filled pastries. The food is good, but it does lack some charm; it ticks the boxes without doing anything unexpected. The service is very friendly and attentive, but the hard-edged decor feels a little functional.
Grilled chicken and lamb shawarma pitta pockets are a highlight of the meal. Crispy grilled edges of meat are deliciously packed into warm pitta, with addictive creamy garlic sauce on the side.
The counter is packed with freshly baked pastries, breads and fillings for hot sandwiches. Large cakes, tarts and cheesecakes are also made in the bakery downstairs, and glisten temptingly at those with a sweet tooth.
Hot fresh mint tea is the perfect finish, served with small Lebanese sweet pastries and baklava. No alcohol is served, but a tropical smoothie is a thick, mango-infused way to accompany the meal.
The Last Word
Worth popping into if you're passing by, for a quick bite to eat and a friendly taste of Lebanon.