After Marie attended the Dar launch night on October 10th she couldn’t wait to return. The décor was charming and the menu enticing. Knowing the quality of food at sibling Mezzet, Dar showed promise to be a great new Surrey restaurant.
The Lebanese & Spanish married couple behind Mezzet and Dar come from two of the most renowned food nations on earth. Their first restaurant, Mezzet (our review), stayed true to his Lebanese heritage but new venture Dar is a fusion of the two, tapas style. To borrow from Ann’s American cousin, how awesome is that?
The interior is stylish with delightful finishing touches. We enjoyed sitting in the front room and watching the goings on in the street.
There’s a library room, which is a closed off space that would be perfect for evening or a private party. That’s actually Bridge Road in the old photo on the wall.
Bet you didn’t guess this photo is of the loo!
They have an extensive cocktail list. Lynn & Marie tried the excellent virgin cocktails, shame we have kids to pick up from school so we couldn’t have non-virgin ones.
Service is very authentic, welcoming and efficient. The superb Chef and kitchen stall are Spanish, along with the waitstaff. The more intricate Lebanese dishes are made at Mezzet and brought to Dar, ensuring the highest quality of both cuisines on the menu.
The menu is all tapas or mezze small dishes. Which we love because we get to try so many different ones. Tapas isn’t know for being particularly vegetarian friendly, but the Lebanese influence means there are sereral non-meat dishes to choose from.
We started with highly addictive Brittle pistachios £3.00, tasty Cheese and olives £3.00 and Piquillo Hoummus £5.00 a blend of Piquillo peppers and a traditional Lebanese hoummus served with fresh bread. Beautiful texture and bursting with flavour, this is not your regular supermarket hoummus.
On to the mains:
Melon con jamon with a twist £6.50 melon on a bed of crispy Serrano ham with sweet pickled tomato . What stunning presentation. We though the twist would be standard menu speak but the flavours actually are surprising. Pickled tomatoes are a most unusual and genius addition to a classic dish.
Moutabal and shanklish toasts £5.50 smoked aubergine puree with beetroot and walnuts crumbled goats cheese with za’atar spice and caramelised onions. Another exceptionally presented selection. Mmm, they may not be elegant to eat but they sure were tasty.
Fouter saute £5.75 wild mushrooms served with a labneh quenelle. Lovely meaty mushrooms with a perfectly paired sauce.
Vieiras con migas £8.95 pan fried scallops with chef’s soujuk crumbs and a parmentier sauce.
This is nothing short of heaven in a bowl. If there is any rivalry between the chefs at Mezzet and Dar, the scallops at Dar have the edge, which is no easy feat!
Broken harra £6.00 saute diced potatoes with spicy harra sauce, truffle oil and a quail egg. Bursting with flavour, including a good amount of heat.
Though we’d thoroughly stuffed ourselves, one look at the dessert menu and we were sold. In a big way, we went for four of them!
Churros con chocolate £5.00 Spanish fried doughnuts with a cream chocolate. This caused a lot of giggles at our table. The popping candy doesn’t kick in immediately, allowing you to enjoy the flavours of the chocolate and the doughnuts. At first we kind of thought it didn’t do anything. And then we felt it dancing on our tongues. Great fun.
Torrija £4.50 Infused brioche bread, goldened in a pan and service with a fruit coulis. Nice, kind of like French toast but denser. It’s a bit heavy so save room if you plan to order this one.
Baklava £4.50 a sweet layered pastry with almonds, pistachios and pine kernels. Made by the experts at Mezzet. It’s hard not to love properly made baklava.
Tarta de Santiago £4.50 Traditional Spanish almond cake served with vanilla ice cream. Exquisite. Impeccable. Ambrosial. Umm, apply any other ott adjectives you can think of. We hadn’t expected anything of this, almond cake sounds a bit meh, but it was seriously yummy. We fought over it and cannot wait to have it again.
We LOVE Dar. Writing this is saliva inducing. It’s Marie’s birthday next week and of all the places in Surrey and London she’s choosing to go to Dar for her birthday dinner. That almond cake is going to make for a pretty perfect birthday celebration.
39 Bridge road, Hampton Court, East Molesey, KT8 9HA
Street parking or use overpriced car park at the train station.
We were guests of Mezzet Dar but this is no way biased our review.