The first Berber & Q was the brainchild of Josh Katz, drawing upon a passion kindled in his early years spent snacking at the falafel shops and shawarma houses of North London. Stoked further by time spent travelling in the Middle East, from the old markets of Marrakesh to the kebab houses of Istanbul, Katz's lifelong love for the region's cuisine now comes backed by experience, as well as impeccable training – both Josh and co-founder Mattia Bianchi are graduates of Ottolenghi.
According to the Berber & Q website, there are no reservations because they "don't penalize the disorganized", and it's not particularly kid-friendly: "We don't have highchairs, but we do have Raki". Despite this slightly brusque tone, we know from experience at the original Berber & Q Grill House that the staff are as friendly as can be.
Berber & Q menu
Wrap it up yourself (or not, you're free to eat with cutlery if you please!), with Josh's brand new shawarma-led menu, sit down for a bowl of mejaderah (rice and lentils, drizzled in the juices of the spit) or cauliflower (Berber & Q's signature dish), or grab a pitta from the take-away hatch on Exmouth market from 11am daily.
Ice cream pita sandwiches? Yup, these are for real, with tahini soft-serve and caramalised banana. We'd make a trip here just for dessert.
Speaking about shawarma, chef and co-founder Josh Katz said: "It’s a dish that has huge nostalgic value for me, and if done properly deserves it’s own platform to shine, I’ve eaten shawarma all over the world; from Tel Aviv where it’s served in pita, to discovering it’s roots in Jordan and versions in Istanbul. Back in the UK shawarma can get a bad rap – the ‘elephant leg’ of grey meat, limp lettuce and cloying chilli sauce. I hope Shawarma Bar will bring this wonderful, and eclectic dish to a new level with fresh, high quality ingredients."
|What||Berber & Q Shawarma bar, Exmouth Market|
|Where||Berber & Q Shawarma bar, 46 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QE | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Angel (underground)|
25 Jul 16 – 29 Feb 20, Monday – Thursday Lunch: 12 - 4pm Dinner: 5 - 11pm Fridays and Saturdays Lunch: 12 – 4pm Dinner: 5pm – midnight Sundays: 12 – 4pm