Just over a year ago I visited Sao Paulo on a press trip. We arrived at the start of winter and I couldn’t quite believe it – 26 degrees and sunshine all around. I spent most of my time with Oliver, Paul and our lovely ‘tour guide’, David, but I was also lucky enough to spend a little time with Anissa Helou who was also out there for the trip. Anissa had been to Sao Paulo before and had many friends to visit so only joined us for our last meal at Mani. Anissa wowed me with stories of her home cooked Lebanese food and I was looking forward to getting home to try out some of her recipes.
Fast forward a year and Anissa has just opened her first ‘hole in the wall’ street food experience on St Martin’s Lane, Koshari Street. I visited for dinner last night and was impressed with a dish that I had never even laid eyes on before, nevermind tasted.
Koshari is one of Egypt’s quintessential street foods. It is a vegetarian dish of lentils, rice, and pasta, topped with spicy tomato sauce, chickpeas, crispy fried onions and Anissa’s Dukkah, a secret blend of herbs, nuts and spices.This is the only hot dish that Koshari Street serves but you can choose from three tomato sauces, each using a different variety of chilli. I opted for ‘Mad’, which is the hottest option on the menu. It was spicy but totally doable and I wolfed it down in minutes. Ingredients are sauced from Brindisa and there is a range of delicious juices to try – I opted for a black tea and raspberry, which was delicious.
I think this is just what London needs. An excellent alternative to the boring lunchtime sandwich. I only wish Koshari Street was closer to my office!
56 St. Martin’s Lane