We’ve made our way around Italian cuisine via Neopolitan, Calabrian and Roman specialities, and now that Middle Eastern cuisine is getting region-specific in London, it’s time to brush up. The Good Egg has Israeli breakfasts and babka down and we love Berwick Street’s Tabun Kitchen for authentic Jerusalem street food. Where to next?
A Beirut mainstay, Abd El Wahab has just touched down in a two-story site in Belgravia, and if you’ve only tried Lebanese in London, be prepared to have your expectations raised sky-high. In Belgravia, AEW lands the right side of bling (check out the gold leaf-speckled ceiling) and it’s all about pacing out a feast and sharing with the table: from platters of ouzzi – slow roasted lamb with rice and toasted nuts, to shanklish and fattouch. In true Lebanese style, this is the place to bring your whole crowd – both large dining tables and private rooms are available to book out.
Look out for a second international transfer later in the year with Rüya’s debut at Mayfair’s Grosvenor House Hotel due by the end of spring. The focus here is on elevating Anatolian cuisine to the level of Japanese, French or Italian, with Rüya Dubai’s chef Colin Clague (Jean-Georges Dubai, Zuma, Qbara) leading the kitchen in London too. Rüya pulls in a jet-set crowd in Dubai, and Colin’s signature dishes have a cult following (think butter poached lobster with toasted simit and chilli oil), so we’re expecting nothing less from the new Mayfair spot, with luxe interiors by Conran & Partners. Watch that space!
And for a party? Yosma, Marylebone’s answer to Istanbul’s meyhanes and mangals, is launching a new cocktail bar. Opening this Thursday, the bar will sit adjacent to the restaurant but operate with a brand new drinks list, as well as serve bar snacks from Yosma’s head chef Hus Vedat. Inspired by the Turkish concept of çilingir, meaning an informal evening of food, raki and socialising, the word translates to locksmith, referring to the unlocking of secrets amongst friends – naturally, #UJLoves.
Count us in for Yosma Sours and kasar croquettes any night of the week while the rest of the Anatolian crew arrives.