Where to eat in London.... Levantine at Ceru Restaurant

Ah, good old Trip Advisor - usually where everyone loves to go for a moan! With over 14.5 million reviews on the site, to reach the top 5% is quite an achievement - taking a lot of time, dedication and effort. However, not for Ceru - who,  less than 2 months from opening their first pop-up, reached the top 2% of best places to eat.... speaking volumes about the restaurant, and meaning it was one I had to try!

Originating as a pop up at Rathborne Place in Central London, just last week Ceru moved to More London Riverside at London Riveria, in a beautiful spot overlooking the Thames. With my Mum down visiting for the weekend, it was the perfect place to take her to catch up over some very tasty Levantine cuisine!

Ceru at London Riveria

So, what exactly is Levantine? Basically, the menu at Ceru was created by Executive Chef, Tom Kine, who, after visiting 14 different countries for ‘research’ (I would like that job!) compiled a menu of regional dishes from the Levantine region, encompassing Cyprus, Turkey, Lebanon and Israel. He described it as "food without borders", and wanted to design a menu that would appeal to everyone - young, old, health conscious, vegetarian, vegan - you name it, although the menu is compact, the options cover it all! 

Delicious menu

Despite having only been open a few days, it was absolutely packed - luckily we managed to pounce on a table as a couple left. Even with it being so busy, the Executive Chef, Tom Kine, was kind enough to come and sit with us, discussing the concept behind Ceru and ordering us a selection of the best dishes...

Our selection

- Pancar; a roast beetroot dip with garlic and lemon
- Humous with freshly baked Greek pitta bread
- Apple, pomegranate and mint salad
- Zucchini and feta cheese fritters
- Slow roast lamb shoulder with spices
- Spicy roast chicken 
- and some freshly pressed lemonade

Digging in!
Freshly squeezed Watermelon Lemonade

Funnily enough,  I couldn't actually tell you which I preferred - it was tucking into them all that created such a delicious meal. And that is the exact purpose of Ceru - as Tom explained, he designed the menu so that everyone joins in together and shares, with the different blend of tastes and textures all complimenting one another. A combination of hot and cold, sweet and sour, salty and spicy, with the addition of lemon juice for a slight acidity to work as a "highlighter pen", bringing out the fantastic flavours amongst the creative, but actually very simple, dishes.

Need To Know

Best Part: Hard to say, but probably the set up. The kitchen, bar and serving area were all made from three shipping containers, dumped at the venue a couple of weeks earlier as empty shells. Having now been decked out to the max with everything from kitchen appliances to brightly coloured signs and seating,  I loved the laid back, casual, summer vibe.  

Loungers behind the bar
The view

Worst Part: Our nearly empty boxes of food blowing away in the wind.... luckily we caught them before they splattered into the people next to us! The beauty of an outdoor venue.

Best For: A casual group dinner on a sunny evening

Price: With each box priced around £5,  you'd probably order around 10 boxes allowing a generous serving for 4 people. Working out at £12.50 a head, it's great value!

Overall: Lovely meal, lovely environment... and I was able to top up my tan whilst enjoying it all. You know how much I love multi-tasking!

Tom, the head chef, joined us to explain his creation!

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