I’m no connoisseur of Lebanese food, but when this place popped up on Happy Cow while we were in Dublin this Easter Dr HH was beside himself, enthusing that Lebanese food is the perfect blend of falafel, hummus, and Mediterranean treats. That turned out to be the case! The Cedar Tree was a very popular and friendly little place, just around the corner from Trinity College. There was a vegan mezze on the menu, €52 for two, and we decided to splurge.
The “starter” occupied the entire table, which is always a welcome sight. There were a few warm dishes, which we scoffed first: some expertly seasoned potatoes; little spinach pastries (samosa-style, but a little bland as they only contained spinach); and two big, beautiful falafels.
We also had two salads: fattoush (which had a slightly bitter dressing, but those crispy bits were delicious!), and tabbouleh (fresh, light, and flavoursome). There were some pickles and olives, perfect for picking at, and stuffed vine leaves with a delicious filling.
And of course, some bread and dips! The baba ganoush was very smoky, but not especially auberginey, which was a shame. There was a broccoli and cauliflower dip, which was unusual and very exciting, and also a red pepper and walnut one, which was almost like a nut butter. And of course, hummus! The hummus was perfect. Absolutely perfect.
This was a huge, hearty spread and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s always such a treat to try lots of different dishes, and really get to explore a cuisine in this way. I barely had room for a main dish after that, so I was glad to see a relatively light portion coming our way. This was magmour: a chickpea, tomato, and aubergine stew, which was very sweet and flavoursome, with a rich sauce and melty aubergine chunks. It was a little strange to have a heavier starter than main, but I enjoyed it very much.
I would recommend this place, despite the cost – it’s got a great central location, which never comes cheap, and we left feeling extremely well-fed. I didn’t even ask about desserts, I was so stuffed! Clearly Lebanese food is something I need to be having more of.
Have you ever had a starter this humongous? What’s your favourite Lebanese dish?