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Jeru - An exploration of Middle Eastern cuisine in the heart of Mayfair

Jeru – An exploration of Middle Eastern cuisine in the heart of Mayfair

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  • The long-awaited launch of Jeru, under the helm of esteemed chef Roy Ner, did not disappoint. Fresh from Sydney’s ARIA restaurant, 2 Hat (equivalent to 2 Michelin), Chef Ner lands on British soil to celebrate his history of indulgent and eclectic food.

    Jeru is somewhat unassuming from the outside with a simple arched doorway and shop front on Berkeley Street, Mayfair, but once you cross the threshold you are enveloped by a world of aromas and flavors that take you on a journey along the Eastern Mediterranean coast, all the way from Syria to Egypt. We couldn’t wait to get caught.

    The food

    The menu is designed to be shared and whether you’re a carnivore, pescetarian or vegetarian, there’s plenty to tempt the taste buds (vegans might feel a little sick, though). Choose from hot and cold mezze dishes, raw and cured fish, and follow with specialty meats, fish or steaks, cooked over the fire in the open kitchen before your eyes. If you can’t decide, follow our lead and opt for the chef’s gastronomic selection, a menu of 9 savory dishes, side dishes and sweet bites.

    Chef Roy has a quote on the menu that says “Bread is at the core of every meal and sharing a meal is the beginning of an everlasting friendship”, we can confirm that once you have tasted the wood-fired leavened honey potato bread of truffle you will want to be a lifelong friend of both the bread and any pair of hands that helped make it. Never before have we been so lost for words about something as humble as bread. The bakery in Jeru is known as a “celebration of flour, stone and soul” and it really does feel like love and soul has been poured from the bucket load into that wood-fired bread – we will visit the bakery again alone.

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    Other highlights of the chef’s selection included Hasselback Jerusalem artichokes cooked in melted chicken fat or schmaltz, affectionately coined “Jewish medicine” by Chef Ner. Mom’s shish barak dumplings with beef cheek, leek yoghurt and mint melted in your mouth and the only disappointing thing about the fried halloumi donuts was that there weren’t enough of them. The Heirloom Zucchini Salad, Grilled Monkfish Steak and Charcoal Octopus provided a lighter moment at the perfect time.

    The adjustment

    Designed as a series of interlocking spaces on two floors, Jeru blends contemporary sophistication and indulgence with a homey Levantine rusticity to great effect. Pass the marble-topped bakery and filter past the open kitchen where deli coolers are on display for guests to browse. Layla’s Bar serves fine wines and house mixed cocktails; perfect for reflecting for a few hours while overlooking the lower level theatrical dining room and the occasional saxophonist.

    The food and service are boisterous, so if you’re looking for a quiet setting for a peaceful proposal or to entertain weary parents, this might not be your first choice, but if you want an indulgent setting, amazing food, and the option of stay until the wee hours, then make sure Jeru is first on your list.

    On a final note, I’ve always found a lot to be said about a place from its bathrooms – have you thought through the concept down to the hand dryers and soap or were the amenities actually an inconvenience after thinking about it? Well, the former is true at Jeru, as the unisex cavernous toilets are designed in the style of a Hamam. Solid oak doors meet gleaming seascape tiles and marble surfaces, while heady fragrances of rose, sandalwood and oud fill the air, transporting you a million miles from a Mayfair basement. If it wasn’t for the tempting food, we could have stayed there all night.

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    To book a table visit JeruChef’s selection at £69 per person.

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