Berber & Q | Middle-Eastern Grill House In A Railway Arch
Berber & Q do something rather innovative.
They cook Middle Eastern food using American BBQ-ing techniques.
And this is novel for two reasons: 1) you probably haven’t seen it on another menu, let alone tasted it, and 2) because – understatement alert! – historically, America and the Middle East don’t mix very well.
Well, here they mix extremely well. In fact, Berber & Q is one of the best restaurants in East London‘s absurdly competitive restaurant scene.
Fresh from its first rejig since opening in 2015, Berber & Q occupies a converted railway arch right next to Haggerston station. Inside, that industrial muscularity is heightened with patinated metal, distressed wood furnishings, and cast iron fittings – all of which is softened with Medina-like patterns on the glass, velvet banquette seating and hand-painted signs inspired by the backstreets of Morocco adorning the bare brick walls.
Berber & Q is suffused with that provocative, appetite-whetting smell of protein being smoked and scorched on a BBQ, drifting from the open kitchen in the back. Grabbing a seat at one of the long benches (as is also fairly typical of American BBQ places), you’ll see a menu filled with the things you’re smelling: burnt baba ganoush with pomegranate; crispy artichoke hearts served with pilpelchuma aioli; and a rich bacon cornbread (which really is something else). Ex-Palomar chef Jeremy Borrow gives just as much time to the veg as to the meat and seafood, with main courses including the likes of smoked mussels in harissa broth; vegetable skewers drizzled in tahini; and merguez sausage sitting on a zingy butterbean ragout.
Washing all this down you’ll find some lively and inventive house cocktails, including an Old Fashioned stirred with Turkish coffee-infused tobacco liqueur, and the Berber Souk, with mezcal, pul biber agave & herbs. And they’re exactly as good as they sound…
…so don’t be surprised if, when you turn up, there’s a Q.
NOTE: Berber & Q is open for dinner Tuesday-Saturday, plus lunch on Saturday. You can find out more and book on their website right HERE.
ALSO NOTE: If you liked this place, you’ll no doubt be delighted to hear they also have a second restaurant, Berber & Q Shawarma Bar…
Berber & Q | Arch 338 Acton Mews, E8 4EA
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