Tarboush, located at 57 Market Street, Watford, WD18 0PR, is a little hidden gem and definitely the perfect alternative to the innumerable chain restaurants on Watford High Street. Walking past its cute, quaint yet small entrance, you wouldn’t initially realise that you’re walking past a goldmine of flavourful fun, so I’m happy that I’m able to have the opportunity to tell you to stop and pop inside. Offering Lebanese and Mediterranean cuisine in both small and large plates of heaven, this place is a must to enter if you’re in the area. The food is healthy and tasty and Tarboush is home to brilliant service. You will also be in for a surprising treat during your experience and if you read through the whole article, the surprising treat will be revealed to you at the end, and I can assure you, it will make your eyes light up with happiness!
Colourful windows, dim lighting and an abundance of pillows
Once you step inside Tarboush, you will be transported away from Watford and will definitely feel warm and cosy due to the wonderful atmosphere and dim lighting. There is a really inviting feel to the place that I guarantee will make you feel at ease. The authentic vibe and the fact that Tarboush is far away from being pretentious means that you will feel like you’re at home within seconds. If you’re lucky to be seated upstairs, the abundance of pillows and colourful windows are a real sight to see and will mean you can truly sit back, relax and feel like you’re not in a town in the Greater London area but somewhere completely different.
The restaurant is nearly always busy, which adds to creating a buzzing environment of people who want to be in a social setting and enjoy great food. The owner and the staff are knowledgeable, friendly and attentive and will ensure that you have a wonderful time. On some occasions there are also live singers and belly dancers performing for diners and adding to creating an exciting yet relaxing ambiance.
Refreshing juice combinations or a delicious milkshake?
Tarboush has a policy of not serving alcohol in the establishment but does allow diners to bring their own alcohol, free of charge for their enjoyment. However, if I’m honest with you, I don’t think you should be bringing alcohol here as Tarboush offers some amazingly refreshing drinks that have to be sampled. It provides an abundance of fresh juices and that of different combinations.
My favourite ones and the ones that I would have to recommend to you are the following: lemon and mint, strawberry and lemon and orange and pineapple. One glass is surprisingly only 2.90 GBP (3.50 USD) and is a must-try. If you have more of a sweeter tooth, I would recommend that you try one of Tarboush’s milkshakes, which are also 2.90 GBP (3.50 USD). The types of milkshakes available are as follows: Kit-Kat, Snickers, Oreo, Galaxy and Kinder Bueno. I would recommend ordering your drinks first and giving yourself more time to check-out the menu which is filled with healthy comfort food and all the iconic dishes that you would expect at a Lebanese restaurant.
Must-try and recommended dishes to order
With a variety of fresh and natural ingredients, Tarboush manages to consistently pull together an array of beautifully coloured food with the right texture and flavour every time. From the cold mezze, I would have to urge you to enjoy the baba ghanouj (for 3.75 GBP (4.50 USD)) which is a blend of smoked aubergine, tahini and lemon juice creating a tasty item to enjoy with some bread. In addition, the stuffed vine leaves with rice, tomatoes, spices and olive oil (for 3.75 GBP (4.50 USD)) is also a great starter. My favourite from the cold mezzes has to be, however, the fattoush salad (for 4.00 GBP (4.90 USD)), which is a Middle Eastern mixed salad with crunchy toasted Lebanese bread, spices and special dressing. I can find no other fattoush salad that can compete with the one offered at Tarboush.
From the hot mezze, the falafel (for 3.75 GBP (4.50 USD)) is recommended as is the batata harra (for 3.75 GBP (4.50 USD)), which is spicy fried potatoes marinated in tomatoes, coriander, sweet peppers and chilli. My favourite has to be the kallaj which is halloumi cheese on Lebanese bread topped with dry mint (4.50 GBP (5.50 USD)). Another item that is recommended is the spinach sambousek, which is a Lebanese pastry stuffed with spinach, onion and pomegranate, giving it that sharp sweetness (for 3.75 GBP (4.50 USD)). Balance of flavours is spot on, every time.
This place will be on your repeat list — it’s that good!
The surprising treat with Tarboush is when you receive the bill. The pricing is so amazingly reasonable and the quality of the food is fantastic. It’s hearty and healthy at the same time, a balance that cannot be easily met. Tarboush does not accept payment by card, so make sure that you have cash with you in order to pay the bill or stop over at the off-license next door, which has a cash machine where you can retrieve your money in advance of visiting Tarboush!
It’s a place where people enjoy visiting whether it’s for a quick meal or a lengthy social dining experience and I would urge you to visit it if you’re in Watford. I have dined and had take-away from Tarboush for at least five years, so I feel quite confident in recommending it to you. It’s an all round winner in my book.
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