Berenjak has become the first Iranian restaurant in London’s Soho area after it opened this week.
The restaurant will open on Romilly Street, with Kian Samyani who had been working at JKS Restaurants’ Brigadiers in the City, taking the role of head chef. The chef had previously worked alongside Karam Sethi, JKS Restaurants’ creative director at its Gymkhana restaurant.
JKS Restaurants says its new restaurant takes inspiration from hole-in-the-wall kebab houses and the street vendors of Tehran. The menu will be split into Mazeh (small plates) and larger mains, with an ice-cream sandwich as the sole dessert.
Samyani said: “Like many Iranian families in London, most of my childhood memories were made around the dinner table, where household dishes become life-long favourites – every Iranian will tell you that their mum’s cooking is the best. With Berenjak I wanted to evoke the style of a rustic hole-in-the-wall kabab house from Tehran, and reinterpret signature dishes using seasonal British produce.
“Spices, dips, pickles and handfuls of herbs are the flavours of my childhood, so it’s great to be reinterpreting them in Soho. For me, it wouldn’t be an Iranian dinner without sitting elbow-to-elbow with friends and family, sharing each dish until every scrap has gone.”