A cozy restaurant in Connaught Place for the refreshing flavours of Lebanon
Thus far, Lebanese food in Delhi has been a misnomer. This is the real thing.
In the block opposite PVR Plaza, on the Outer Circle is Delhi’s newest outpost of Lebanon. The country is usually spoken of in conjunction with Jordan and Syria, and it is quite common for all Arabic food to be called Lebanese! But Zizo is the brainchild of a Lebanese national with limitless zeal to showcase the food of his country. And with health consciousness at its peak, it’s a good thing too. Salads, cold starters, a few deep-fried starters, a light pizza-like bread with toppings that include cheese and a few main courses, you can either nibble at tea-time or stuff yourself at meal-times. There are pickles in jars (from which you are served at table as an accompaniment), cookbooks of the food of the country and olives and za’atar on display. Small as it is, there is a variety of seating options. Best of all are the unbelievably low prices: a cold drink and a manaoush (pizza-like bread with topping) would cost you less than Rs 500!
Usually, in restaurants serving non-Indian cuisines, there is very little for traditional desi tastes. The good news here is that foul mudammas (Rs 220) is a bean stew with accompaniments like chilli flakes and cumin powder is strongly reminiscent of chola bhatura, and that’s without any effort to Indianize the food! Pounded roasted fresh red chilli paste made in Lebanon is served free upon request. There are of course other dishes that are completely unlike desi food, but even here a few cold mezze are served with the option of chilli added in the kitchen. Zizo also serves shankleesh (cheese) salad (Rs 320). However, it was the manaoush (Rs 220) with either cheese or za’atar that is going to be a huge hit. Exactly the same size as a pizza, it is lighter and flakier than a pizza. You can have it cut into wedges or fill it with pickles, salad and/or hummus like a roll. Which is what chicken dibs ruman roll (Rs 230) is.
Plus and minus: Besides the pricing, it is the versatility of the little eatery with high energy that appeals. A treasure for vegetarians!
Must try: Moutabel, fattoush, baklava
Rating: food 4; service 3; décor 3.50
K 18 & 22, Connaught Place Outer Circle
Open from 11 am to 11 pm
Credit cards: check at outlet; alcohol: not currently served
Meal for two: Rs 800