"You Choose" — Syriana

Each week we walk into a restaurant and make the staff order for us

VenueSyriana, 1 Constitution Hill, B19 3LG; website
Choice: Lamb shakreyeh (£9.95) Chooser: Owner

The first time we ate Lebanese food was at Syriana, back when Constitution Hill was still an adventurous distance from town. And like our first curry and our first Thai meal, those novel flavours and textures made a happy little imprint on our ever more finely tuned tongue. Ten years, a lot of Persian food, and a full on refurb later, we were back and feeling nostalgic. And while the baba ganoush and the chargrilled chicken weren't quite at the level our untrained tastebuds remembered, it was good, and it was time for us to meet our next bit of new. Shakreyeh is a typical Syrian stew of lamb in hot yoghurt and egg. It looks about as appetising as it sounds but it actually tastes really good, with tender lamb and a hint of mint coming through the way this kitchen serves it. And it turns out almost the entire team at Syriana is — as the name might suggest — Syrian, so it's probably not Mensa-grade genius to guess what cuisine is going to come out trumps. Expect handshakes, beams and really heart-warming service, plus teas and baklava you don't have to ask for. Open daily from 4pm 'till late. 
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