While you may not have been able to travel to the Middle East as easily as usual recently, you might have encountered on previous trips the restaurant group Em Sherif, in locations spanning Beirut, Kuwait, Doha, Dubai, Cairo and Damascus.
Now you won’t need to travel too far for a fix of Lebanese fine dining, as Em Sherif is opening its first European outlet (both a deli and a restaurant) at Harrods later this year. Mireille Hayek, the woman behind the concept, has no formal chef training or experience but her glamorous-looking Em Sherif venues (named after her son, who also works on all her restaurant projects) have been wowing celebrities and food lovers alike since she opened the first one in Beirut in 2011.
The critics have taken notice as well, with The World’s 50 Best Restaurants listing Em Sherif’s original Beirut site as one of the top nine female-led restaurants to watch in 2021. It was also listed as one of the World’s 50 Best Discoveries in 2019. Esquire Middle East ranked the Dubai outlet as number 30 of its 50 best restaurants in 2018.
What should you expect from her London restaurant? Well, if other Em Sherif restaurants in the Middle East are any indicator, strap yourselves in for at least 30 set courses. Yes, 30. Delivered in a seemingly endless stream of hot and cold mezze, grills and desserts.
The feast consists of seasonal delicacies, traditional dishes and original concoctions, and the Harrods restaurant should include some of the following:
- Hindbeh (sautéed dandelion greens and caramelised onions tossed in olive oil and lemon)
- Fattet Battinjan (eggplant fatteh)
- Toshka (flatbread stuffed with kebab meat and white cheese)
- Sambousek Lahme (Lebanese meat pies)
- Bouza tout (a creamy dessert made with sesame paste and hazelnuts)
We imagine the deli option at Harrods might be a little more straightforward than this, though.
More about Em Sherif at Harrods
Where is it? 87–135 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7XL
When? Deli 6th December 2021, restaurant late January 2022
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