Mayfair’s first Armenien restaurant offers a slice of authentic cuisine on Hay Hill. Spear’s tried its honey cake, stuffed grape leaves and signature Kibbeh
A firm favourite among Middle Eastern royalty, Riyadh’s Lusin – ‘Moon’ in English – has developed a reputation for its elegant take on Armenian cuisine.
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The concept behind the restaurant was created by Saudi culinary expert Dr Mazen Amulgbel, who has risen to prominence through creating luxury dining environments outside the confines of the country’s upscale hotels.
In Saudi Arabia, Lusin has hosted royals, government officials and diplomats, such the country’s energy minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud, former Al-Hilal football club president Prince Abdul Rahman bin Musa’id Al Saud and the late Kofi Annan.
Set in a 100-seat venue across two floors, Lusin Mayfair welcomes guests with warmly-lit interiors and Tuff stone walls sourced from the Armenian highlands by architect and interior designer Maram Seddiq.
Seated in an intimate corner, with those Tuff stone walls offering optimum acoustics, Spear’s began with the restaurant’s signature kibbeh, a staple of Armenian cuisine.
Prepared with bulgar, nuts, and fresh meat seasoned with spices, Lusin’s kibbeh is paired with pomegranate molasses and perfectly complemented by the restaurant’s lighter Yalanji stuffed grape leaves.
Served alongside lentil koftas and Lusin’s special muhammara – a spicy red pepper dip – our starter dishes were expertly paired with Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve.
Up next, the restaurant’s famed cherry lamb kebabs were charcoaled to perfection and served with Lusin’s signature home-made sour cherry sauce, made with the fruit imported from Armenia during summer picking season.
Served alongside a mixed grill and black truffle-infused red pilaf and enjoyed with a 2020 Domaine Glantenay Bourgogne Pinot Noir Maison Dieu and a 2019 Vrignaud Chablis Champreaux.
Lusin Mayfair is lighting up Hay Hill with its authentic Armenian cuisine
Desserts were a vibrant mix of honey cake, pomegranate-adorned eclair and a delicately tangy lemon tart – soothing and moreish palate cleansers after those richly-spiced meat dishes.
Cocktails are fresh twists on classics, crafted by mixologist Giancarlo Mancino, beverage and bar consultant for Rosewood Hotels. Armenian wines are also available to try.
Lusin’s mission is to ‘evoke a sense of beauty with this cuisine, through an inspired rich atmosphere, taking the guests on a journey celebrating old traditions and introducing new tastes with their special recipes’.
With delicately balanced dishes served in an elegant, welcoming setting, Lusin’s eclectic offering did not disappoint.
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Images courtesy of Edmund Dabney and Lusin Mayfair