Adiva review: Mezze, BYOB and belly-dancing at a Lebanese-Turkish fusion restaurant
I’ve always enjoyed Lebanese and Turkish food, so when a friend booked a table at restaurant serving a fusion of both, I was looking forward to it. A group of six of us dined at Adiva, located just a short walk from Old Spitalfields Market, on a Saturday night to celebrate a friend’s birthday. The table was booked through TopTable so there was a special £14.95 set menu (two courses) to choose from, however we were able to order off the a la carte menu if we preferred.
Adiva is located on Commercial Street in the Spitalfields/Aldgate East area of the city. Although it looked like a regular restaurant from outside, once you step inside you are transported to the Middle East with warm red and yellow interiors, Moorish designs and glass and wrought iron lamps. My friends and I all arrived with our own bottles of wine as the venue was BYOB, with just a £1.50 corkage fee.
Presented with our set menus, our helpful and attentive waiter was able to answer any questions we had about the dishes and offered his recommendations for those among us who were unsure of what to choose. I opted for the Vegetarian Mixed Mezze Starter – which consisted of Hommous, Lentil Kofte, Taboulleh, Falafel, Dolma (stuffed vine leaves), Sambousek Jabneh Sabanegh and warm pitta bread. Although quite large, the starter was light and delicious. I easily could have ordered a second serving it was so moreish. For my main, I went for the Samkeh Harra - pan-cooked fillet of Sea Bass with potato and leek mash with sautéed vegetables. The sea bass was cooked to perfection and melted in my mouth and the mash (one of my favourite foods) was creamy and full of flavour. I quite liked the vegetables, although some of them were slightly undercooked and a bit crunchy – I would have preferred them a bit softer. Regarding some meat options, one of my friends ordered the Lamb Shawarma (pan-roasted slices of lamb in Shawarma spice and onions) and said it was incredibly tasty.
Aside from the food and setting, Adiva has the added asset of entertainment by a belly dancer. The talented and friendly dancer moved around the restaurant so everyone got a chance to see her in action and she really livened up the evening. As expected, she managed to convince a few diners to leap out of their seats and show off their moves, which brought a camaraderie between our table and our fellow diners. Due to the BYOB alcohol policy, when it came to receiving our bill, we couldn’t believe how affordable it was. Overall, the food was delicious, the setting was comfortable and attractive and the service was good. With the added appeal of BYOB, it results in a very good value meal out.
- 43A Commercial Street, E1 6BD. Nearest tube/Overland: Liverpool Street or Shoreditch High Street. For more information and booking, check out the Adiva restaurant website.
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Posted on 10 September 2013, in Grub, London and tagged Aldgate East, belly dancer, BYOB, Lebanese cuisine, london, restaurants, Spitalfields, Turkish cuisine. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.