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11 July 2018

dining at colourful ceru, soho

while i was doing my recon for this year's in colourful company london colour walk, i was introduced to a new addition to london's amazing east mediterranean restaurants: ceru london. knowing that a hundred colourful creatives wasn't really going to make it in there for lunch comfortably, i decided to head in with a smaller party - just jasmin and i - a few weeks ago to juuuuust see if i could have a taste for myself. and mates, am i glad i did.

i started with a cocktail from the levant bar. it was pink, of course, and was made with vodka, strawberry liquor, rose water and cranberry juice; it tasted of turkish delight (£7.50), so that was a great start for me. we ordered some starters while perusing the menu - grilled pita and a selection of dips(£1.50 and £5.50 respectively); at the waiter's suggestion we chose houmous with chickpeas and green chilli, fadi - with roast courgette, garlic, lemon and tahini, and the house hummara; a tangy red pepper dip with walnuts and pomegranate molasses. i can confirm: that last one was an utter treat, and we had to order more pita to mop the last of it up.

the premise of the restaurant's menu is that it's looked at like tapas. each diner should choose 3-4 dishes to order, to share with the table if they wish. we were ready to do just that, and i feel like we ordered way too much food as plenty got left behind - so i'd stick to 2-3 each. we went with mostly veggie and seafood options, and my favourite by far was the fresh and zesty apple salad, which was dressed with pea shoots, mint, lemon juice, walnuts and pomegranate seeds, and was just exactly what i wanted to be eating on a hot summer's night (£6). my other favourite dish, was the spice battered squid with a harissa yoghurt (£7) which was crunchy and salty, and complimented perfectly by the lightly-spiced yet very creamy dipping yoghurt.

my least fave dish, but the one jasmin liked the most, was the courgette and feta fritters (£6) with a mint and dill dip - i just didn't taste too much flavour in the fritters, and they fell apart as soon as you stabbed your fork in so it was hard to get the minted dip on. jasmin found a way, i wasn't bothered enough to! the whole grilled prawns came with legs and tails on, which is always a bit gross for me, and so because of that i sadly got a mouthful of "innards" when i managed to whip the legs off. it puts a downer on an otherwise delicious meal, when you get that salty, sandy juice in your mouth alongside the coriander and lime flavourings. the flavour was definitely there, i was just put off by the guts, i think.

the dessert was a highlight though. we were stuffed, sure, but i can always make room for dessert. i went with a cardamon-flavoured ice cream atop a peanut brittle slab, which was rock hard, caramelised and sooo crunchy, and i fell in love with again on every bite. jas went for the panna cotta - rose-scented and cardamom-flavoured, it was the creamiest way to end a terrifically tasty dinner. and affordable, too! if we'd ordered enough food for two and not three, we could have easily ordered a few plates for £15, which is not expensive at all for the middle of soho. there are a few other dishes on the menu that i wish i'd tried, so i'll definitely be back. see you there?