Berber & Q’s Shawarma Bar

God, looking for a new flat in London is an exausting task!

So after a loooooong morning of (rather unsuccessful) viewings, when we found ourselves right around the corner of my favourite little pocket of London, we decided to take a break from it all and treat ourself to a nice lunch.

Shawarma Bar, London | Restaurant review || Cake + Whisky Shawarma Bar, London | Restaurant review || Cake + Whisky

Our spot of choice? Berber & Q’s super-instagramable Shawarma Bar.

Shawarma Bar, London | Restaurant review || Cake + WhiskyShawarma Bar, London | Restaurant review || Cake + Whisky Shawarma Bar, London | Restaurant review || Cake + Whisky

A tiny but perfectly formed, new-wave shawarma bar, brought to central London by Haggerston’s Middle Eastern barbecue superstar.

Shawarma Bar, London | Restaurant review || Cake + Whisky

No mystery meat to be seen here.

Instead, the menu’s on the shorter side and full of vegetarian-oriented small plates, shawarma-stuffed pitas dishes and plates and creative sides.

Needless to say, it’s a ‘let’s get one of each and share’-type dinner’s dream, be it for a relaxed weekday lunch, a casual dinner or not-your-usual weekend brunch.

Shawarma Bar, London | Restaurant review || Cake + Whisky

Start with a cock/mocktail…

Shawarma Bar, London | Restaurant review || Cake + WhiskyShawarma Bar, London | Restaurant review || Cake + Whisky

Followed by a smogasboard of small plates to share!

Shawarma Bar, London | Restaurant review || Cake + Whisky

Za’atar-roasted tomatoes with labneh.

Shawarma Bar, London | Restaurant review || Cake + Whisky

Ezme with pine nuts and red chilli.

Shawarma Bar, London | Restaurant review || Cake + Whisky

Joojeh chicken pita with blackened green chilli sauce & garlic yoghurt.

Shawarma Bar, London | Restaurant review || Cake + Whisky

(which was quite enjoyable as it came, but even better once turned upside down onto a plate, teared up and mixed!)

Shawarma Bar, London | Restaurant review || Cake + WhiskyShawarma Bar, London | Restaurant review || Cake + Whisky

Signature cauliflower shawarma with sultanas, rose, pine nuts & pomegranate.

Shawarma Bar, London | Restaurant review || Cake + Whisky

And some of the best hummus I’ve had in my life.

Shawarma Bar, London | Restaurant review || Cake + Whisky

A tableful of goodies ready for you to scoop and dip into to your heart’s content!

Shawarma Bar, London | Restaurant review || Cake + WhiskyShawarma Bar, London | Restaurant review || Cake + Whisky

All topped up with a beautiful, panna cotta-like cardamom malabi.

Delicate and wobbly and all, what a way to wrap it up!

Shawarma Bar by Berber & Q, 46 Exmouth Market, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 4QE
Berber & Q’s Shawarma Bar

Greek Chicken Skewers + The Real Greek Cookbook Giveaway

You know that frustrating feeling when you go to a restaurant, you have the most *amazing* dish and you know that you won’t for the life of you be able to have this again ever because the restaurant has an ever-changing menu and they won’t give you a recipe so you can make it yourself at home? SO FRUSTRATING!

Well, that won’t happen with The Real Greek.

Not only do they keep classics and favourites right and centre on their menu all year round, but they also just released a cookbook running you through those same recipes that have made their success on London’s restaurant scene.

The Real Greek Cookbook with Tonia Buxton

A stunning collaboration between the team of experienced chefs at The Real Greek and the restaurant’s consultant Tonia Buxton, the cookbook is a comprehensive guide to creating restaurant standard food at home.

From delicious meze dishes to scrumptious feast, it’s the perfect companion for beginners and well-read foodies alike to explore the wonders of Greek food.

Greek Chicken Skewers from The Real Greek Cookbook | Cake + Whisky

With over 100 recipes to choose from, deciding where to start was no easy job, but I decided to try recreating one of the dishes we indulged in at The Real Greek cookbook launch: Marinated chicken skewers.

The ones we had at the restaurant were simply beautiful: tender chuncks of chicken with sweet pepper and onion pieces, basted in a light and fresh marinade, with the subtle flavour of the charcoal there had been cooked over.

Greek Chicken Skewers from The Real Greek Cookbook | Cake + Whisky

So I was curious to see if I could achieve the same results at home.

And the good news is, I did! …oh, and there’s another good news!

I teamed up with Blink Publishing to give out a copy of The Real Greek with Tonia Buxton cookbook so you also get to cook restaurant-worthy Greek recipes from the comfort of your own home!

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Greek Chicken Skewers from The Real Greek Cookbook | Cake + Whisky

Chicken Skewers (serves 4-6)

Ingredients: 6 chicken breasts (boneless and skinless, cut into 3cm chunks), 1 small red pepper (deseeded), 1 small yellow pepper (deseeded), 1 red onion; For the marinade: 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp freshly chopped rosemary, 1 tsp freshly chopped thyme leaves, 1 tsp ground paprika, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. In a large bowl, mix together the ingredients for the marinade. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken chunks, coating them well, then marinade for at least 1 hour, but preferably longer (ideally overnight in the fridge).

2. Cut the peppers into 2 cm pieces. Quarter the onion and cut the leaves into 2cm pieces.

3. Soak 6 wooden skewers to prevent them from charring. When ready to cook, thread the chicken, peppers and onion alternately onto the skewers. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Cook under a medium-hot grill or in a griddle pan for 8-10 minutes, turning every couple of minutes and basting with any remaining marinade.

5. Cut each skewer in half and arrange crossways on individual serving plates.

I served my Greek chicken skewers with a side of tzatziki and pan-fried pepper slices, but lemon mayonnaise would also work well.

A’meze’ing, isn’t it?

The Real Greek with Tonia Buxton, RRP £20, out now, Blink Publishing

Greek Chicken Skewers + The Real Greek Cookbook Giveaway