This summer Josh Katz and Mattia Bianchi the duo behind Berber & Q Grill House are back and opening their second restaurant, Berber & Q Shawarma Bar in Exmouth Market.
Chef, Josh (Ottolenghi, Galvin Bistrot Deluxe and Zest) will take inspiration from Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel and even the shawarma houses of Golden Green to create a menu that focuses on lamb shawarma and Middle Eastern style rotisserie chicken. Both will come with herb salad, gem leaves, green chilli, grated tomato, tahini and sumac onions, add pita, confit potatoes or pickles and create a wrap or just eat it as they come. Sides will include blackened aubergine, Mesabaha and coal-baked sweet potato.
The bar bowls will start with a base of Mejaderah – a Middle Eastern rice and lentil dish which will be topped with lamb shawarma, harissa and anchovy or in homage to Berber & Q’s signature vegetable dish: cauliflower shawarma with golden sultana, rose and pine nuts. There’ll also be a selection of pitas inspired by Tel Aviv’s market places, they’ll be stuffed with chicken, lamb, slow-braised beef short rib shpondra or Jerusalem grill along with sauces. To finish there’ll be ice-cream pita sandwiches with tahini soft-serve and caramelised banana.
Mattia will oversee the front of house and drinks with the likes of Middle Eastern frozen slush cocktails and Berber & Q’s Golden on draught made with Thyme, Za’atar, Sumac and orange zest will be on the menu. Designed by Phoebe Lewis at Lewis Cook Design, the 40 cover site will feature enormous, bi-fold windows which open out onto the Market whilst inside yellow Zellige tiles will line the bar which stretches over the half of the space. Leather clad bad stools will be joined by steel framed low stools, reclaimed wood tables, vintage photography, posters and battered street signs from the Middle East.
Berber & Q Shawarma Bar: Opens June 2016, 46 Exmouth Market, Clerkenwell, EC1R 4QE, www.berberandq.com