Food gems

Yunie Kebab: authentic Lebanese food in a charming retro diner

3 July 2017
Falafel

Wonderfully no-frills restaurant Yunie Kebab is run by a Lebanese husband-and-wife team who took over a charming seventies diner and changed nothing about it but the menu. They now serve up incredible Lebanese food, and quite possibly the best hummus in Madrid.

ANCIENT RECIPES

A Syrian friend recommended Yunie for its dedication to millennia-old Middle Eastern recipes and its silky-smooth hummus, which took us straight back to a two-table hummuseria in Antakya (a small city in Turkey near the Syrian border).

The owner, Ibrahim, made his hummus the traditional way by first pounding the ingredients together in a large vessel until smooth, and then serving it with pickled gherkins, diced tomato and a peppering of cumin.

Owner of the traditional hummuseria in Antakya

Owner of the traditional hummuseria in Antakya

Hummus in Antakya

Hummus in Antakya

At a hummuseria in Antakya, a Turkish town by the Syrian border

Vats of hummus pounded by hand

YUNIE’S RETRO SALON

This cosy Madrid eatery is stunningly kitsch, having barely changed since the previous owners decked it out with modest seventies splendour. There are smokey-pink mirrors on every wall and a vase of plastic flowers by the Orient Express-style leather booths. The whole place is every shade of brown, set off by a little colour from half a dozen photographs of Jounieh, the ancient ruin-studded coastal city in Lebanon from which this restaurant takes its name.

Yunie's dining area

Yunie’s dining area

Photo of Jounieh, Lebanon

Photo of Jounieh, Lebanon

YUNIE’S FOOD

Yunie Kebab lies in the heart of Madrid’s university area and gets a huge amount of custom from in-the-know students. Everything on the menu is cheap, tasty and nostalgic, mixing no-frills food with a proper dining experience. Here are just some of the dishes on the menu:

Falafel

Falafel

Kebbe (photo: Antonio García)

Kebbe (photo: Antonio García)

A selection of Yunie's best dishes

A selection of Yunie’s best dishes

Warak Inab (stuffed vine leaves)

Warak Inab (stuffed vine leaves)

Mutabal (baba ganoush)

Mutabal (or baba ganoush – a smoked aubergine and tahini dish)

Lebanese-style hummus

Lebanese-style hummus

Yunie Kebab’s decor will have you convinced you’re in a Pedro Almódovar film, but its food will take you straight across the Mediterranean to the Middle East, and you’ll never be able to buy hummus from Mercadona again.

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