• Persian• Soho
Berenjak’s compact dining room is inspired by the bolthole cafés and restaurants of the Iranian capital of Tehran, while a small but beautiful garden or ‘hayat’ out the back seats outdoor diners and can be hired for private events.
Stars of the show here are Persian-style kebabs, cooked on the restaurant’s charcoal grill. Fragrant spiced lamb features prominently, as well as liver and sweetbreads, chicken and poussin.
Berenjak is part of the ultra-successful JKS restaurant group, best known for Michelin-starred Indian restaurants Trishna and Gymkhana, as well as Taiwanese restaurant group BAO and Sri Lankan-inspired Hoppers.
Berenjak serves Iranian mazeh and kebabs in a corridor-like space on Romilly Street. The main room is made up of booths, but it’s the counter that’s the heart of this restaurant.
As you enter the artfully downbeat doorway a bank of thrumming equipment including a mangal grill, vertical rotisserie and clay oven catches your eye behind the counter with stools in front for watching, basking in the scents and eating.
This is a loud, lively new entry to Soho where the air smells of meat and charcoal smoke and you can eat well for £35 a head.
From the street it looks small. Easy to miss. My pal called me while standing practically outside, asking where it was. But this casual Persian joint on Soho’s Romilly Street is mightier than it looks.
Walking inside, you’ll be pleased to note that the hole-in-the-wall inspiration has not extended to the space itself, which evokes a creative mash-up of traditional and modern styles