Having visited their multi-coloured radiant summer pop up by Tower Bridge during the warmer months of July and August, I was curious to see what they have been up to with their winter pop up special on Cannon Street. Ceru specialises in food from the Levant which is a large part of the eastern Mediterranean. Don’t expect any fake snow or frosty decorations at their winter pop up though, the only thing wintry is the time of the year. It might be grey outside, but it’s bright sunshine yellow inside with their sharp yellow chairs, giant print of people enjoying an outdoor barbeque adorning their walls. The decor is affable but not quite as quirky as their London riviera summer pop up.
A visit to Ceru is always invigorating because they offer dishes which are not your everyday high street variety. The food is served mezze style, so the best way is to go with a group of friends and order a wide selection. Top of the list must be their chef’s special, the slow roast lamb shoulder with shawarma spices. Taking between 4-6 hours to cook, it tastes as succulent and enticing as it looks. You barely need to apply any pressure with a knife and the meat falls off easily. The use of shawarma spices, pistachio dressing along with pomegranates makes it stand head and shoulders above your standard roast lamb (pardon the pun).
Although there is an overdose of pomegranates on their menu. I had a crisp apple, pomegranate and mint salad to accompany the lamb. It was a great match to soak up the fattiness of the lamb, however on it’s own it does seem slightly one-dimensional with an abundance of apple and less of their other ingredients. They also have a strong selection of dips and other vegetarian options.
They have a fascinating selection of wines, especially ones from Lebanon and Turkey but they are served in 175ml glasses and 500ml carafes rather than bottles. Their cocktails selections are equally appealing; although I have to disagree with them on saying the espresso martini is a lady’s favourite and I should be drinking the gentleman’s favourite, the godfather instead. I actually opted for their signature homemade lemonades; as the passion fruit version promised “South American fruit to rekindle that summer feeling”. It was fresh tasting, it was thirst-quenching and the ideal beverage to accompany the meal.
Being based in the City, they are especially busy during breakfast and lunch trading hours and have designed ideal food options for fast takeaways such as lamb shawarma toasted wraps.
This pop up will be open until early January 2016 and by then they should have announced the site of their new permanent restaurant. You will probably hear news first via @CeruLondon. Let’s hope they will be opening somewhere near where you live soon, so you can have a taste of the Levant too.