Restaurant review: Mezza Luna, Moroccan and Lebanese cuisine – City Road, Cardiff

Perched halfway up City Road, at first glance, Mezza Luna doesn’t look too different from the countless other grill houses this part of Cardiff is so well known for. However, this unsuspecting restaurant was recently named Best Kebab House in Wales 2017; although it’s a step up from the kind of kebab you’d usually associate with City Road.

Fragrant, meaty aromas waft up from the open charcoal grill and fill the restaurant, while belly dancers shimmy from side to side as you eat your meal (only available on Friday and Saturday nights). A menu focused on classic Lebanese hot/cold mezze and grilled meat dishes also boasts a tantalising range of Moroccan tagines. 

A plate of hot, salty sujuk (garlicky beef sausage with spices) and grilled halloumi (£4.95) was devoured in a matter of minutes. 

Sujuk and halloumi

Meanwhile, calamari (£4.50) was coated in a golden, crispy batter so light it literally melted in our mouths, while the flesh was fresh and juicy. It was paired with a garlic aioli sauce so irresistible, we just couldn’t get enough of it. I’ve only recently begun to like calamari and I wouldn’t usually order a whole portion to myself, but I’d happily have eaten a plateful of this.

Calamari

Garlic bread and cheese (£2.95) took the form of a wedge of white bloomer loaf, heavily laden with mildly tangy grilled cheese and topped with freshly chopped parsley. 

Garlic bread and chees

The star of the show was a comforting Berber tagine of lamb shank, braised carrot, parsnip, swede, sweet potato and butternut squash in an exotic Moroccan sauce, packed with piquant Ras el hanout spices (£13.95). Just the smell of the steam rising up from the dish was enough to make me drool…

Moroccan berber tagine

Next up, the duck shawarma (£12.95) – the kind of dish that makes you do a double-take when you see it on the menu. I’ve wanted to try this ever since I read about it in a review of Mezza Luna by fellow blogger, The Plate Licked Clean.

Heaps of sliced, pan-fried duck breast lay sprawled over a soft Lebanese flatbread, accompanied by iceberg lettuce, black olives, cucumber, tomato, pickled peppers and lemon wedges, finished with pomegranate molasses. The duck meat was tender and juicy, whilst the skin was deliciously thin and crispy. This exceeded expectations and filled me up so much, I didn’t eat a single morsel until late afternoon the following day.

Duck shawarma

We also shared a portion of fluffy saffron rice (£2.50); although with hindsight this wasn’t needed, given the size of our main courses. 

Saffron rice

So, if you fancy trying something a little different to City Road’s usual kebab offering, head to Mezza Luna. Unlike most of the other kebab shops nearby, you can order alcohol here too, so why not make a night of it? Order a few hot and cold mixed mezze to pick at, or get stuck in with a meaty main course. 

Mezza Luna
159 City Rd
Cardiff
CF24 3BQ
(029) 2047 2772
www.mezzalunacardiff.co.uk

Have you ever tried Moroccan or Lebanese food before? Let me know your favourite dish in the comments below.

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18 Comments

  1. May 25, 2017 / 10:32 am

    This sounds like everything I love in food, you can’t beat halloumi and calamari x

    • May 27, 2017 / 10:28 pm

      I can’t say no to grilled halloumi! I only recently started eating calamari; sometimes I love it, at other times I’m not so fussed. I guess it all depends how well it is cooked.

  2. May 25, 2017 / 7:47 pm

    This looks so much better than your average kebab place. I like the sound of the fluffy saffron rice x

    • May 27, 2017 / 10:25 pm

      Oh yes, it’s worlds apart from your typical kebab shop 🙂 The rice was lovely; big fan of saffron!

  3. May 25, 2017 / 7:53 pm

    I really love this kind of food. I really need to find something like this local to me!

    • May 27, 2017 / 10:23 pm

      It is really tasty food! Love it here 🙂

  4. May 28, 2017 / 2:35 pm

    These photos just makes me crave to try all of them.

    • May 28, 2017 / 11:56 pm

      I would happily work my way through the entire menu.

  5. Healthy and Psyched
    May 30, 2017 / 10:40 am

    WOW. Doesn’t look like what I would expect from a kebab house. Glad you enjoyed it.

    • June 4, 2017 / 9:36 pm

      It’s definitely a step up from your average kebab house. The meat tastes amazing here.

  6. May 30, 2017 / 11:17 am

    Oh, wow! How delicious does the food here look? I see a lot of reviews of restaurants in Cardiff, and they always sound amazing. I’m really going to have to visit one day!!

    Louise x

    • June 4, 2017 / 9:37 pm

      Cardiff has a fair few decent cafes and restaurants, both in the city centre and in the suburbs. Let me know if you ever need any recommendations!

  7. serenityyou
    May 30, 2017 / 12:30 pm

    the garlic bread with cheese looks really nice, and I am a big fan of halloumi

    • June 4, 2017 / 9:37 pm

      The halloumi was literally heavenly! I could eat halloumi by the tonne!

  8. May 30, 2017 / 7:04 pm

    That all just looks amazing 🙂 I’ve recently visited Cardiff. Will have to go back to try this

    • June 4, 2017 / 9:35 pm

      Cardiff is such a great city – friendly, lots to see and do (and eat!) This restaurant is lovely, they always take care of you well in there!

  9. June 6, 2017 / 7:22 am

    Ohhhhhhh… this looks absolutely amazing and now I’m starving! Seriously, this is exactly my kind of food. Might have to move to Cardiff… 😉

    • June 11, 2017 / 6:27 pm

      You’ll never be short of decent restaurants like this to eat out at in Cardiff 🙂

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