Lucie Loves... Food // A Levantine dinner for two at Ceru's Soho Restaurant [Review]

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The world is quite literally your oyster when you come to choosing somewhere to eat in London’s Soho neighbourhood. The sheer number of places to satisfy your hunger (or thirst) in this city is quite possibly one of the reasons why I’ve now lived here for 6-years.

Way back in January 2017 I was invited to an extremely colourful press dinner at Ceru’s test kitchen in Bermondsey. It was there that I had the pleasure of meeting Ceru’s owners, Barry & Patricia.

 Over a year and a half later, I am absolutely delighted to see that they’re still going strong and have now added a Soho restaurant to their original South Kensington offering.

 CERU’s lovely team made us feel very welcome and recommended the tastiest dishes to try

CERU’s lovely team made us feel very welcome and recommended the tastiest dishes to try

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Ceru pride themselves in creating a menu that lists a selection of little plates that are biiiig on flavour. On arrival at the D’Arblay Street restaurant, I was greeted by one of their friendly waiting staff and taken to my table, where my friend Zoe Beaty (a talented lass who writes for The Pool) was waiting for me.

 Zoe, doing her best food instagrammer impression. 

Zoe, doing her best food instagrammer impression. 

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This was more than enough food for the two of us to share, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. The flavours were just as good as that first press dinner.  

You really can’t go wrong with any of the dishes on CERU’s all-day menu. That apple & mint salad 🤤🤤🤤 

 From Cyprus to Lebanon, CERU’s fantastic wine selection means you can get the perfect glass of vino to compliment the Levantine flavours of your chosen dishes.

From Cyprus to Lebanon, CERU’s fantastic wine selection means you can get the perfect glass of vino to compliment the Levantine flavours of your chosen dishes.

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 We ordered a glass of Lebanese white wine to start and then swept our hungry eyes down the menu. We were told that it was recommended to order between 2-3 dishes each, to share – Spanish tapas or mezze style! Ceru offer an all day menu, along with a weekend brunch (I need to come back and try this one soon!) and express lunch options – for those of you in a rush, within just 20-minutes you can have a delicious platter of middle-eastern food in front of you for just £9!

 The perfect middle-eastern foodie spread for two 

The perfect middle-eastern foodie spread for two 

Anyway, back to my mate date with Zoe… We had a lot to catch up on! We order the 3-in-1 dip selection (hummus with chickpeas and green chilli, fadi roasted zucchini, garlic, lemon and tahini zucchini and CERU’s hammara – a tangy red pepper dip with walnuts and pomegranate molasses, served with warm pita bread.

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We then threw in a bit of our 5-a-day with the crisp apple, mint & pomegranate salad, served with pea shoots, roasted pine nuts and green chilli (NOM!), the karides (whole grilled garlic prawns with a dried lime & coriander labneh), fillet of seabream with a warm lemon dressing, fried garlic, oregano & red chilli, their star dish: the lamb shoulder, slow roasted for 5 hours in CERU’s secret blend of 12 Shawarma spices, with a pomegranate, fresh mint and pistachio sauce. Sooo tender!

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We added a bit more protein with the Shish Taouk: paprika and lemon marinated grilled cubes of chicken breast, with a herb yoghurt, and few more carbs… a side of roasted potatoes and some Orez Ceru: Arabic-scented fried rice with crispy onions, sultanas & parsley.

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Can’t decide between the lamb or prawns? Order both!  You’ll thank us later!

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This is a restaurant that I would return to again and again and again. Whether that’s for a solo express lunch when freelancing in a client’s Soho offices, or with friends. It’s also quite low lit, which makes it perfect for a Soho date night too.

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To finish off the evening we both ordered a cocktail and shared the rich chocolate and pistachio dessert. I went for the ‘Too Hot To Handle’ – a favourite of mine, again from the original press dinner. It consists of Famous Grouse, Disaronno, chilli, lemon, sugar, and egg white. Zoe went for the ‘Passionista’ – rather apt considering the deep & meaningful conversation topics we were discussing over dinner. This is a mix of Russian Standard, Passoa, lime, sugar, passion fruit, and egg white. Russian Standard, Passoa, lime, sugar, passion fruit, and egg white.

Next time you’re in Soho, try CERU for size! I’d love to hear what you think.

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CERU also do very tasty cocktails! If you fancy popping in for a few nibbles and drinks before your night out.

Thank you to the team at CERU for arranging this review dinner and being such fabulous hosts. Our meal was complimentary for the purposes of this post, but as I said earlier, I’ll definitely be back again. It’s an absolute joy to eat here. 

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 Photography: Lucie Kerley