Thursday 5 January 2017

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Berber and Q Shawarma Bar

There's no lack of great restaurants in the Clerkenwell / Farringdon area (just check out my lunch time guides) but I think it's safe to say I've found my absolute favourite, Berber and Q Shawarma Bar on Exmouth Market.

I was late to the Berber and Q game as I've never visited the original Middle Eastern grill house in Haggerston. However, whilst I would like to pop over at some stage I am utterly satisfied with this newcomer for the time being. The Shawarma Bar make an excellent stop for lunch or dinner thanks to it's versatile menu and excellent value prices. At lunch time you can choose a few meze dishes or a kebab / rice bowl but come dinner time when you're after something more substantial you can order an array of small and large plates. I've been for lunch quite a few times now, sampling something different each time so I think I've got to know the menu quite well.

I love the meze options and for £5 each or £22.50 for five, it's definitely worth ordering a few. My favourite by far is the labneh, pistachio and dill. The strained yoghurt is thick, rich and moreish. I order this every single time I visit.

I also love the blackened aubergine, chilli and anchovy; braised lentils, Urfa roast pumpkin and charmoula; and the cauliflower shawarma, pine nuts, pomegranate seeds which is technically a side dish but works well as a meze options thanks to it's size. The beetroot salatim, walnut and orange; and ezme, pine nuts and red chili are nice options as well but they didn't quite stand out as much as the aforementioned. I'm looking forward to trying the za'atar roasted tomatoes, crème fraîche; and roasted butternut squash, mograbieh and curd cheese next time. All of the meze options are served with bread and are veggie friendly which is great news for all you non meat eaters.

For something a little more substantial you can choose between the rice bowls, kebabs, or shawarma plates. I adore the rice bowls. You choose a meat (I really like the tender and tasty beef) which comes in a bowl with mejaderah, fried onions and tahina as well as meat (or cauliflower) specific additions. Mix it all up and you've got yourself a real good treat. Slightly spicy, slightly creamy and packed full of fresh, punchy flavours, this dish will satisfy a lunch time hunger yet leave you begging for more because it really is that delicious.

The kebabs are another big contender on the menu, after all this is a shawarma bar. Similar to the rice bowls, you choose your meat (or cauliflower) and the fluffy pita breads come stuffed with tahina, herb salad and pickles. The beef, lamb and chicken options are both lovely but it's the rice bowls that keep me coming back as they're that bit more satisfying.

There's an array of side orders and extras. So far I've only had the za'atar pita crisps, garlic yoghurt which is basically delicious slices of grilled pita bread.

I love Berber and Q Shawarma Bar and plan to visit as much as I can whilst I'm working in Farringdon. The food is delicious and it's great value making this an excellent stop for lunch or dinner.

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1 comment:

  1. It all looks so yummy! I'm a big fan of small tapas style plates as you get to try more than one dish without being too much of a piggy. This is definitely one to add to my to-do list!


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