City Road has no shortage of Middle Eastern restaurants and Mezza Luna, opposite The Roath Park pub, might easily be missed.
But behind the small front, the Morrocan and Lebanese restaurant’s inside is not just your average kebab joint. Candlelit tables extend far back and the mock-stone walls are decorated with embossments of famous Middle Eastern landmarks.
Unlike Mina on Crwys Road, one of Cardiff’s highest-rated Lebanese restaurants, the menu at Mezza Luna is more varied with a tempting list of grills, tagines and couscous dishes in traditional clay pots to try.
The Mezze menu is also longer, featuring hot and cold delights. The sujuk and haloumi, a combination of grilled spicy beef sausage and grilled cheese, was succulent and generous.
For the main event, the grills include options of lamb, chicken or beef with varied sides of Lebanese bread, rice or potatoes. Sounds simple, but the spices and marinades tasted like a combination unlikely to be easily replicated at home.
The Spicy Breast Meshwi’s side of potatoes was a tad disappointing compared to the Lebanese bread accompanying the creamy sauce of the Chicken Shawerma.
The meat, carbs and salad layout of the grill dishes might be a bit boring for some, but diners after something more exciting can opt for a tagine.
And for those after a night of entertainment to complement the meal, the staff were keen to talk about their team of belly dancers who weave between the tables on Friday and Saturday nights.