Salma’s captures the essence of Levantine cuisine beautifully. From the moment you enter the elegant lobby of the hotel that is home to Salma’s, the fragrance of fresh flowers greets and escorts you to the grand double doors of the restaurant. As the hostess opens the door, you know something special is waiting. The regal air of the space is immediately evident without being pretentious; with white marble, gold motifs and blue and white accents. Soft Arabic music plays in the background, creating the perfect mood The expansive glass wall at the back gives you a peek of the beautiful pool and outdoor space and faces the glass room where the more casual space invites shisha smokers to relax and unwind.
The dining experience at Salma’s is a sumptuous delight. The lavish meal that unfolds throughout the night is comparable to a royal feast the Phoenicians would be proud of. Salma’s offers both classical and innovative cuisine under the capable direction of Salma’s Chef, including a full selection of cold and hot mezze. With so much choice, it is recommended to order lots and share everything. The Tabouli Salad is a bright, fresh way to begin the meal, a medley of chopped parsley, tomato, onion, bulgur, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil. The Hindbeh Bil Zeit, chicory leaves topped with fried onions, is a revelation; a bitter green is transformed into something mellow and memorable after it is sauteed with onion, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice. The Traditional Hummus, a chickpea puree with tahini paste, olive oil and a hint of garlic is enhanced even further when paired with Salma’s fluffy and fresh Saj Bread, homemade in the outdoor oven.
Other classics that hit all the right notes include the Warak Enab, vine leaves stuffed with rice, tomato and herbs, the Labneh, garlic-strained yogurt mixed with mint and crushed garlic cloves, and the Baba Ghanouj, a grilled eggplant puree blended with sesame paste and lemon juice.
Why not be bold and try something new from the raw meat section of the menu, like Frakeh, raw lamb meat with mixed spices from the south of Lebanon, served with bulgur? It may sound unusual but the taste is mild, creamy and utterly comforting.
The hot mezze is also served with Salma’s trademark beautiful presentation and attentive service. The Batata Harra, homemade spiced potatoes, the Cheese Sambousek, deep-fried pastries with a blend of ackawi and mozzarella cheese, or the Felafel Pops, chickpea and herb croquettes served with chili and tahini sauces, make luscious starters for vegetarians, though meat lovers won’t be left out.
The hot mezze selection at Salma’s is a paradise for vegans, vegetarians and carnivores alike. The Sfiha Bil Forn, a baked pastry filled with seasoned, minced goat meat or the Soujouk W Banadoura, homemade spicy sausages sauteed in lemon and tomato, will delight your taste buds with exciting flavors. If that’s not enough, the Stuffed Kibbeh Balls, minced goat meatballs, or the Salma’s Special Calamari, lightly battered calamari rings, offer even more delicious selections for the discerning palate.
One can easily get mesmerised by the mouthwatering mezze options, however, the grilled platters are equally impressive. The Combo Platters are excellent selections, perfect for sharing. The Meat Combo features lahme, ribs, kafta arayes and chicken wings while The Seafood Combo is a lavish assortment of home marinated grouper skewers, calamari and prawns. Both Combo Platters come to the table with sides of Tabbouleh, Hummus, Batata Harra and Warak Enab. The meats and fishes are chargrilled to perfection and well-seasoned with smoky, bright flavours.
With all this great food, it is a must to accompany it with a cool (or maybe hot) beverage. Salma’s boasts a full bar, a selection of cocktails and a well-curated wine list to suit all tastes.
The attention lavished on the earlier courses extends, thankfully, to the desserts. Osmalieh is baked vermicelli with oriental cream, topped with rosewater syrup and sprinkled with pistachio. It is a crunchy, creamy, sweet and unique way to finish a meal. Or why not end your journey of culinary delights with the Halawa Tart? It is a crunchy tart crust filled with sweet sesame paste and topped with fragrant candy floss! It is truly a delight to the senses and to the diner’s sense of fun because what is more fun than candy floss?
Don’t forget to complete the meal with the Lebanese Coffee, which has hints of green cardamom and is served tableside from a golden vessel into espresso-sized cups. Its earthy and rich taste makes it perfect for true coffee connoisseurs.
Salma’s is an oasis of beauty in the city of Lagos. The design is beautiful. The food is truly authentic and impressive by all standards. The service is impeccable. Each detail is intentional to transport the diner to a culinary haven.
20/24 Ozumba Mbadiwe Rd, Eti-Osa
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