Homegirl London’s Restaurant Review: Berber and Q Shawarma Bar Exmouth Market. We fancied a walk and some delicious food so headed for the Berber and Q Shawarma Bar Exmouth Market. Having eaten at Josh Katz’s and Mattia Bianchi’s Haggerston restaurant back in June 2015, we knew it would be darn good – click here to read that feature. If you fancy lamb shawarma, rotisserie chicken, stuffed pitas or mezze dishes, this is undoubtedly a fantastic restaurant to try.
“The Berber and Q Shawarma Bar in Exmouth Market dishes up mouthwatering mezze plates, posh pitas and the best lamb shawarma and rotisserie chicken in town” Homegirl London
Berber and Q Shawarma Bar Exmouth Market Menu
The menu is influenced by a mash-up of cuisines from Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel and London shawarma houses. Shawarma is a Levantine meat preparation where the meat (lamb, chicken, etc.) is placed on a rotating spit and grilled before eaten with accompaniments or in a wrap. The speciality is lamb shawarma and Middle Eastern style rotisserie chicken which is cooked over charcoal and wood. I can’t comment on either of those because we are vegetarians. However, I did notice quite a few people tucking into these dishes and licking their lips in delight!
The lamb shawarma is served on tahina with tomatoes, herb salad, baby gem leaves, sumac onions and pita. The rotisserie chicken comes with garlic yoghurt, herb salad and grated tomatoes. You can add sides of mixed pickles, grilled hispi cabbage, mejaderah (rice, lentils, fried onions) or cauliflower shawarma (pine nuts, pomegranate seeds).
Lamb Majadarah Bowl
We tried the Mezze selection, which was so tasty. These are £5 each, but if you order five dishes you get a deal for £22.50. We tried the beetroot salatim with walnut and orange. I’m not a big fan of beetroot, but this was delicious. The za’atar roasted tomatoes with crème Fraiche were fantastic, who knew tomatoes could taste so good. The aubergine ratatouille, butternut squash and braised lentils made up the five.
Our Mezze Selection
We also ordered the hummus Harif which was served with green Turkish chilli and harissa. You get a fluffy pita bread with that. Oh my god, delicious. I could eat it all day, every day. Other hummus versions were the tahini or the irai with fried aubergine and boiled egg.
Our Hummus Harif
The stuffed pitas are excellent, especially if you’re popping in to grab take-out. We tried the cauliflower version with red onion and green chilli. Other pita options were Joojeh Chicken, Merguez Kofte and Lamb Shawarma. They also had rice bowls with similar ingredients to the pitas.
Our Cauliflower Pita
We tried a couple of soft drinks, the rosemary lemonade and Persian lime, both excellent. They have a great cocktail list with some unusual exotic ingredients – lavender syrup, date syrup, rose water and saffron. Or perhaps you might want to try one of their brews in collaborating with Crate Brewery or a larger from Morocco, Israel or Lebanon. Hot drinks include Turkish coffee, Moroccan mint tea and Cay tea.
Berber and Q Shawarma Bar Exmouth Market Interiors
You’ll find the restaurant along Exmouth Market. Then front has a rusty metal sign with the Berber and Q name. There are two large bi-fold windows which open up You’ll see some fresh veg displayed in the windows. Inside the metal grilled door, you will find a bar counter on the right faced with stools. On the left, there are a few tables for four people, and these are made from reclaimed wood with leather-topped stools for seating. Towards the back and you will find a larger dining space with more tables. There are around forty covers in total, so if you want a seat for lunch or dinner go early.
The interiors are cosy and were designed by Phoebe Lewis at Lewis Cook Design. The style is distressed with metro tiles behind the bar, mesh metal on the doors, vintage photography and battered street signs hung on the walls. With touches of the Middle East meets Clerkenwell, it’s a cool yet relaxed place to hang out.
Berber and Q Shawarma Bar Exmouth Market Information
Prices for mezze are £5 per dish or £22.50 for five dishes. Stuffed pitas are £7.50-8.50, shawarma plates £16 for lamb and £13 for a half chicken. To find out more about the restaurant, go to the Shawarma Bar Website. The address is 46 Exmouth Market, London EC1R 4QE. It’s a short walk from Angel underground (Northern Line). Check the website for current opening times. Enjoy your meal!
Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: Homegirl London and Berber and Q. Thanks: Elliot Kett for sending photographs on request. Thanks to Homeboy for accompanying me.