Myself and Snita (@herfavfood – go check out her blog) decided to organise a little Foodies Meetup with some fellow food bloggers.
We are so lucky to live in a brilliant city like London, with incredible food from around the world. Having met some awesome people at foodie events, I wanted us to organise our own gathering with like-minded people who share the love of food; so this is how our foodies meetup first came about.
I contacted the lovely Patricia from Ceru London, one of the new London pop-up restaurants that everyone’s been talking about in the world of Twitter. We decided to keep our first meetup fairly small as the restaurant isn’t that big, but there’s talk of a bigger venue coming soon, so there will definitely have to be a next time!
Ceru specialises in Levantine cuisine, serving food influenced by Cyprus, Turkey, Lebanon and Israel. Executive Chef Tom Kime has done a great job in combining seasonal locally sourced produce with beautiful and vibrant flavours of the Levant.
We were all served drinks on arrival and there was a lovely selection of fresh juices on offer, including their daily specials. My juice was pineapple based and was so tasty.
The aromas coming from the kitchen were just to die for! It has to be one of my favourite smells of all the cuisines I have been lucky enough to try. It made me salivate just thinking about the food that was about to be served.
To start we had a selection of dips to share with some warm flatbread. I’m so happy we got to try all of them as they were all delicious and wonderful in their own way. The houmous had a smooth, creamy texture with a slight kick from the green chilli which was a welcome addition in my opinion.
But my favourite was a beetroot dip called Pancar which consisted of roasted beetroot, yoghurt, garlic and pistachio. Usually I find beetroot to have an earthy taste, which can overpower a dish. But this really wasn’t earthy at all and in fact was fresh and tangy, which tasted great with the flatbread.
The other 2 dips were called Fadi (fried baby courgette puree with tahini, roasted garlic, yoghurt and lemon) and a spicy roast red pepper dip (with chilli, walnuts and pomegranate molasses).
I chose the slow roast lamb shoulder with shawarma spices for my main and it was the best decision ever! Words don’t really do this dish justice. It was melt in your mouth soft with an aromatic scent from the spices and a nice tangy dressing topped with pomegranates and pistachio. Each element added value to the dish and I have not stopped raving about it since eating at Ceru!
My foodie friend had the roast sea bream with oregano and chilli, topped with delightful garlic chips which I felt made the dish stand out even more as I have an unhealthy obsession with garlic. The fish was cooked perfectly and drizzled in a lovely warm lemon dressing.
Our main came with a side of white bean & parsley salad with tomato, chilli and extra virgin olive oil, as well as some lightly spiced roasted potatoes.
For dessert, we went for the Ice Cream Baklava which was a pistachio nut ice cream with roast nut brittle and a burnt honey caramel. It was just… WOW.
In my head I expected just a deconstructed baklava, which I would’ve liked as I have a weakness for baklava, however, this was a million times better!
I have tried what I thought to be pistachio ice cream before, but this was like nothing I have tried before. It tasted authentic with no hint of artificial nut flavourings you typically get with pistachio flavoured food. The consistency was incredible – so smooth and creamy. And I felt like there was just the right level of honey caramel drizzled on top to add a different flavour dimension to the dessert. I would honestly go back to just have this if I could.
And last but not least, we got to try their new dessert, the Muhalibiyya, which is a pudding made from milk, rice flour, sugar, rosewater and chocolate with an apricot puree centre. I know so many people who dislike rosewater in general, so it’s not for everyone, but I really enjoyed it. The flavour combinations were different and it wasn’t a heavy dessert. So both desserts were the perfect way to end our meal.
I want to thank Ceru for their wonderful hospitality and great food. Everyone who attended our Foodies Meetup had a lovely time and I have been craving the slow cooked lamb for a while now so I must pay them a visit again soon.
Also thank you to the lovely ladies who came along to the meetup – I hope this was just the first of many more meetup’s to come!
You can find Ceru’s pop-up restaurant at 29 Rathbone Place, London. W1T 1JG.