Berber & Q Shawarma Bar, Exmouth Market

LondonEating Out

Berber & Q Shawarma Bar, Exmouth Market

The humble shawarma is elevated to new levels at Berber & Q duo's new Exmouth Market opening...

Occupying a space at Exmouth Market with huge bi-fold windows, reclaimed wooden tables, leather-clad bar stools and a corridor lined with vintage photography is Berber & Q Shawarma Bar — the second offering from Josh Katz and Mattia Bianchi of Berber & Q Grill House. No prizes for guessing the speciality here: shawarma.

Berber & Q Shawarma Bar, Exmouth Market, London

Prepared in the open kitchen surrounded by tangles of dried chilli and garlic, hanging plants, and Middle Eastern ingredients and spices, the humble dish is slow-cooked on a rotating spit over hot coals, elevating it from a late night kebab stop to a entirely new level. ‘Back in the UK shawarma can get a bad rap,’ explains Katz, ‘the ‘elephant leg’ of grey meat, limp lettuce and cloying chilli sauce. I hope Shawarma Bar will bring this wonderful, and eclectic dish to a new level with fresh, high quality ingredients.’

After experimenting with shawarma at the original grill house — as well as getting stuck into the authentic stuff in places from Tel Aviv to Jordan and Istanbul — it takes pride of place on a menu that also features Middle Eastern style rotisserie chicken served with herb salad, gem leaves, green chilli, grated tomato, tahini and sumac onions. With optional extras liked grilled pita, coal-baked sweet potato and pickle jars, diners are encouraged to make individual wraps, whilst Katz’s pita selection — inspired by the market places of Tel Aviv — stuffed with chicken, lamb, slow-braised beef short rib shpondra, or a Jerusalem grill will set tastebuds a-dancin’; all served up with a selection of tongue-tickling sauces.

A take-away hatch completes the 40 cover restaurant, with wonderfully ramshackle design courtesy of Lewis Cook Design.

@SHAWARMABAR

Berber & Q Shawarma Bar, Exmouth Market
Berber & Q Shawarma Bar, Exmouth Market
Berber & Q Shawarma Bar, Exmouth Market
Berber & Q Shawarma Bar, Exmouth Market
Berber & Q Shawarma Bar, Exmouth Market
Berber & Q Shawarma Bar, Exmouth Market

Photography, Joe Woodhouse

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