Wimbledon Village is quite off the beaten path for a lot of people, especially if you don’t live around this part of town. There are quite a few good restaurants in the area if you are looking for a nice place for a good meal. Layla sits in the middle of the main thoroughfare through the village and it offers an upmarket Lebanese dining experience.
The front of the restaurant is a dominated by a long bar with some low tables along the walls. A few steps down leads you to the main dining room with a few cosy booths to the right, a smattering of tables in the centre and some banquette seating against the other wall. The ceiling is festooned with some drapey material and is lit by glittering chandeliers.
The clientele was made up of small groups and families but incongruously, there was a very large table of teenage boys. On arrival, we were greeted by the manager and was seated at the back of the room which seemed to be in the direct path of a cold draft from the back door. No one offered to take our coats but they did give us a couple of menus. Left alone for quite a while, it took a while to get the attention of a waiter to take our order. We were one of the earlier diners and the restaurant had not filled up yet.
We ordered a selection of hot and cold mezes and some drinks carried on chatting. I was having dinner with a friend and we had a lot to catch up on so we didn’t mind the wait too much. Lebanese menus are perfect if you like to graze as you can order lots of small dishes to share and get to taste a variety of dishes. Layla has a nice extensive wine list which includes a few Lebanese wines too.
For main course, we ordered the Lamb Shank and a mixed grill. Both of these were quite large servings and was
Just as the mains were served, the volume of music increased and a belly dancer appeared. Suddenly, the reason why there was a table of teenage boys here was made clear. (The belly dancer looked quite exotic but she was of a Scots/Jamaican origin) Nothing like a bit of entertainment to liven up a meal.
After all the excitement, we ordered a dessert to share, the Labneh with walnut. As expected, it was crispy and very sweet and which was perfect with some fresh mint tea.
Layla is a lovely elegant restaurant for a good meal and fun entertainment if you are around the Wimbledon area. If you do go, try to book one the booths on the side as they are quite private and raised from the main dining area, which will give you a great view of the belly dancing as it happens. (only on the weekends)
33 High St Wimbledon
London SW19 5BY
Eat Cook Explore was a guest of Layla Restaurant