You know how to find the perfect neighbourhood restaurant?
Build it yourself.
At least, that’s what Josh Katz is going to do. He’s the head chef and main driving force (along with his brother Paul & wine soothsayer Mattia Bianchi) behind Berber & Q. And while the Middle Eastern BBQ joint is easily one of the best casual dining spots in the city, it’s over in Hackney, and Josh Katz lives all the way across town in Queen’s Park.
So he’s naturally decided to put his new restaurant a couple of streets away from his house. It’s going to be called Carmel after the Hebrew word for ‘vineyard’ and, like B&Q, it’s going to be a love letter to North African & Eastern Mediterranean food. Only this time it’s promised that it’ll all be a little bit more “polished and refined”. Which basically means it won’t be a BBQ joint. Though there will be a long sharing table scored right down the middle of the space, plus counter seating overlooking the wood-fired oven.
So what can you expect on the menu? Well, it’s going to be an all-day affair, with breakfasts netting you challah French toast with crème fraîche & blackberry compote, or a souped-up shakshuka with confit tomato, avo & tahini. Later in the day, they’ll be serving up Tamworth pork chops with confit garlic, preserved lemon and borlotti beans; some roasted cod & clams with fennel and arak butter; and sweet potato gnocchi with burnt aubergine, yoghurt & chilli butter. And for dessert? Grilled pineapple with urfa chilli syrup & pomegranate.
The wines – around 60 in total – will be wrangled by Mattia Bianchi, who developed a knack for hunting out first rate low-intervention bottles without a huge price tag whilst running his own pop up wine bar over the past four years. After all, if you want a great wine bar…
…build it yourself.
NOTE: Carmel is due to open in October. We’ll be back then with the full scoop. In the meantime, you can find out more at their website right HERE.
Carmel | Lonsdale Road, Queen’s Park, NW6 6RR
If any of this made you hungry… get a bite from the Berber & Q Shawarma Bar