In a nutshell: Smart but traditional Persian-style kebabs and more
Summing it all up: If you love nothing more than getting stuck into a kebab then prepare to have your horizons widened by Berenjak, who’ll be focusing on recreating proper Persian-style kebabs, stews, sides, with a Soho twist.
Love nothing more than a late night kebab, perhaps eaten on your way home, then get ready for Berenjak, who are bringing a Persian-style kebab house to Soho’s Romilly Street, serving a proper, Tehran-influenced menu with a cocktail bar to match.
At the helm will be Kian Samyani, who grew up in Iran before gaining experience cooking in Gymkhana and Brigadiers. The people behind those restaurants, JKS, are also backing this - and with Lyles and Bao under their belt - they know about backing a winner.
Samyani will be focusing on recreating the classic dishes of his childhood, but with a seasonal, British twist - so think grilled pheasant, or sea-spiced partridge. Kebabs will be cooked in the traditional fashion, skewered and then cooked over the charcoal mangal, and will include a Jigar, made with lamb liver, bergamot and lavash, and a selection of Koobideh kebabs, made with minced meats like lamb or beef.
On the side, there’s plenty of hearty stews like the Khoresht E Karak, which features a whole quail with barberries, saffron and lemon, or Ghormeh Sabzi with slow-cooked lamb shank and fenugreek. There’ll also be salads and refreshing dishes like cos hearts with a honey and vinegar mix called oxymel, and baby cucumbers with fermented mint. For starters, you can nibble on blackened aubergines with whey, and traditional Azerbaijani bean and noodle soup.
They’ll be keeping it very interesting at the bar too, with sharbat cocktails involving a spirit and fresh herb of your choice, which they'll then mix with the fizzy, fruity Persian drink. Or if you’re feeling brave, try a curdled yoghurt and gin cocktail with sumac, called the Doogh.
“Most of my memories of growing up revolve around food, and in an Iranian family, the dishes of my parents’ homeland were always present on the dinner table,” says Kian. “Spices, cooling dips and handfuls of herbs are the flavours of my childhood, so it’s great to be reinterpreting them in Soho. For me, it wouldn’t be an Iranian dinner without sitting elbow-to-elbow with friends and family, sharing each dish until every scrap has gone - I’m looking forward to recreating that at Berenjak.”
More about Berenjak
Where is it? 27 Romilly St, Soho, London W1D 5AL
When does it open? 23 October 2018
Photo by Marcus Cobden
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