Mini Hiba – Wood Street
By Nadia Ramoul
Mini Hiba is an offshoot of the popular Hiba Express in Holborn and sits nestled on Wood Street’s Golden Parade. Despite being very mini indeed, it provides an extensive menu of big hearty portions of Lebanese and Palestinian dishes for generous prices in a welcoming and relaxed environment. Although it is primarily a takeaway and delivery restaurant, if you’re lucky and catch a quieter time you are able to eat in and enjoy well-presented meals, served swiftly but with great care and attention to detail.
My friend and I visited early in the evening and ordered a mezze selection of spicy Houmous Beiruty, Wark Inab B’zeit (delicious tightly stuffed vine leaves with subtle parsley and mint) and, most enjoyable of all, a portion of halloumi, with some grilled and some fried. The cheese was incredible fried – fluffy and flavoursome with just the right amount of bite, and something I am looking forward to ordering again on my next trip here, along with the powerful scotch bonnet sauce that added a hefty kick but didn’t overshadow the distinctive and moreish taste.
To follow, we shared a Mixed Grill consisting of lamb both minced and marinated, and chunks of chicken, with rice and salad. The meats were all succulent, and very filling, but somehow I found room to slurp a freshly prepared Fruit Cocktail juice and a portion of light, flaky baklava, which was far less syrupy and dense than the Algerian and Turkish versions that I am accustomed to. I took a further portion home which I am steadily working through and will make sure I return soon for more.
In the five months since opening, Mini Hiba has cemented itself as a well-loved destination in the E17 community with friendly staff making sure to chat with all their customers and make recommendations from the extensive menu. Manager Aidan took some time out to chat with me and explained his love and enthusiasm for the hustle and bustle of restaurant life while also enjoying the more chilled atmosphere of Wood Street compared to the more hectic Holborn branch. It was great to be around people so excited about food and bringing unique quality favours to Waltham Forest, and I for one will be making Mini Hiba a staple of my takeout roster.
Mini Hiba is open every day from lunchtime until midnight and caters for vegetarians and vegans with a varied menu including mezze, pastries and wraps.
Mini Hiba is at 2 Golden Parade, Wood St, London E17 3HU