When a Pop Up grows up.
Ceru in Rathbone Place doesn’t look like a pop up. It looks like it has lived in this spot on the corner of Rathbone place for a while. Unfortunately they are only popping up here for a short stint while they look for more permanent digs.
Ceru started life as a food stall at festivals serving their menu of Levant Cuisine. This term encompasses the food of the region which includes among others, Turkey, Cyrprus, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Israel. Their menu is designed by Tom Kine to showcase seasonal and sustainable ingredients and a selection of dishes from the region.
There are a few choices for mezes including a plate of a 3 flavours of dips. I was thrilled to find Syrian Muhammara on the menu but it is identified as “Spicy roast red pepper dip” with walnuts and pomegranate molasses. Spicy roast beetroots and an apple and pomegranate salad are the first of the many vegetable dishes.
With swift and efficient service, other dishes start to crowd our little table. We have a piece of perfectly pan fried seabass, some roasted aubergines dressed in a herbed yoghurt and roasted almonds and a plate of very tender lamb. It’s impressive what they can deliver with just one chef working from the little kitchen area behind the bar.
The servings are generous and the flavours are fresh, bold but complimentary. It’s a nice way to have a meal, with multiple layers of flavours and differing textures. There is an interesting offering of cocktails and a short wine list to accompany their simple menu.
Using some local pears, the roasted and spiced pears served for pudding were delicious and there a a lot of it. The bowl of ice cream baklava on the side proved to a memorable sweet finish to the meal.
I like the concept at Ceru where they have hand picked a few of the more popular dishes from Levant Cuisine and presented in such an approachable and contemporary manner. They are not at this location for long but I don’t doubt that they will find a permanent home one day and sprout many branches across the city. It’s a winning concept and well executed. I look forward to seeing them grow.
29 Rathbone Place
020 3195 3001
EatCookExplore was a guest of Ceru