Gymkhana Chef Goes It Alone With New Soho Venture

By Phil Clarke |
30th August 2018

We’re already going berserk for Berenjak. The middle eastern weather may have passed, but a little corner of Soho will be bringing the look, feel and vibe of Tehran to right to Romilly Street this October..

Berenjak is the brainchild of founder and chef Kian Samyani, who aims to recereate the classic hole-in-the-wall kabab houses that line the streets of Tehran. And Samyani has plenty of experience to draw from; the Iranian chef not only grew up surrounded by incredible Iranian cooking  back home, but in the UK he’s worked at Gymkhana and Brigadiers and has won the support of restauranteurs Karam Jyo and Sunaina Sethi who are backing the new eatery.

The new opening will bring quality Iranian fare to London with small plates including kashk e bademjoon, which is blackened aubergine with whey, walnuts and dried mint as well as Samyani’s ash e reshteh, an Azerbaijani bean and noodle soup.

Mains at Berenjak, in the form of kebabs, will come courtesy of their traditional tanoor (the oven that cooks the bread around the kebab) while each kabab is skewered and cooked on a special charcoal mangal to grill. Variations include jigar, with lamb’s liver, bergamot and lavash, and a selection of koobideh, a tender minced meat dish that’s drawn directly from the Iranian kebab-house tradition.

The decor of the restaurant seeks to bring the look of Tehran London-wards too, with a distinctly rustic vibe while remaining thoroughly modern. Walking the tightrope of exposed brick walls and polished concrete contrasted with stained glass windows and busy Persian carpets, the clash of aesthetic and influences perhaps perfectly represents modern Iran as well.

With October just over a month away (I know, right?) we can’t wait to check out Berenjak.

Berenjak opens in October and will be located on Romily Street


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