Sipping cocktails whilst eating exotic food in the sunshine last Thursday, you'd be forgiven for thinking you were in some far, distant town of Lebabnon. But this isn't the Levantine region, this is central London and more precisly, this is the 'London Riviera'.
From now until October later this year, the London Riviera has taken up residency at More London to serve up cocktails, entertainment and good, honest food from the Levantine specialist Ceru. I was invited down to a little preview evening with head chef, Tom Kime to hear all about Ceru and the big plans for Summer 2015.
Ceru are all about creating food without barriers. Big, bold dishes, served family style which everyone around the table can tuck into. Executive chef Tom Kime explained to us that it's about making everyone inclusive whether they follow a Paleo, Vegan, Halal lifestyle - no one should feel embarrassed to order something different - this menu caters for everyone.
Tom believes in incorporating four main taste groups in his dishes. He states that if your food has the balance of hot, sweet, salt and sour then it's going to be delicious, and he really has a point judging by the dishes served to us on the night. To kick things off we started with a trip of dips: pancar (made from roasted beetroot), spicy roast red pepper and a houmous topped with chickpeas, green chilli and lemon...
For the main course, we were treated to slow roasted lamb shoulder with shawarma spices which was delicious. A lot of people think of kebabs when they think of shawarma but this was beautiful - really juicy but packing lots of flavour.
The vegetable dishes set out to prove that vegetarian options could be just as exciting and interesting as the meat options. The carrots did just that, but sadly the cauliflower dish was a little disappointing for me personally.
I was expecting the cauliflower to be served hot so it was a little underwhelming on first taste. The carrots were a much better match for me, very sweet and helped to balance the richness of the meat.
We finished up with ice cream baklava - Pistachio nut ice cream, roast nut brittle, & burnt honey caramel. Incredibly moreish and the perfect end to a lovely evening spent in the sunshine.