Dining out with a kid is not a piece of cake, as I have come to find out in the last few months, and every problem that could occur has occurred. Lack of baby changing facilities and nappy explosion? Check. Quiet, peaceful dining room and a baby who has just found their voice? Yup, thats my child. Small restaurant and large stroller? Sigh, I’m now the most hated diner. And this is why I’ll visit a restaurant once and not return for a very, very long time. Yup, I’m looking at you Berenjak.
Berenjak is the new Persian kebab kid on the block. “Persian?!” I hear you sigh “not again HGAT!”, but how could I not! It was a new establishment backed by the JKS group (think Gymkhana, Brigadiers, Hoppers, etc) and it was Persian, the perfect restaurant in my eyes. So I dragged BW there after work, with Aadam in tow, and snagged a table on the first day of opening. What I did not take into account was how small the restaurant was meaning I barged into several people with the stroller on the way in – woops.
Holding a squirming Aadam in one arm, I managed to order our food and hoped that it wouldn’t take too long before the inevitable meltdown.
The Food at BerenjakThick greek yoghurt mixed with cucumbers and sweet green raisins. As someone with a deep-rooted hatred of raisins, I was pleasantly surprised by the raisins bursting with sweet juices in each bite. Thick hummus made with blitzed black chickpeas and tahini, sitting in a pool of thicky, glossy olive oil and finished off with walnuts and sumac. Smoked aubergines that had been topped with whey, chopped walnuts, fried onions and dried mint. This was great for scooping up with the fluffy taftoon bread. Humongous chunks of chicken that had been cooked in a traditional marinade of saffron, lemon, yoghurt, and tomato, and placed over a fierce fire for a charred finish. Although this was good, dare I say it was nothing out of the ordinary? There are not enough adjectives to describe just how good this lamb rump kebab was and I usually steer clear from chenjehs. It was simply juicy, smoky, mouth melting, and delicious in every sense, and one of the best dishes I had eaten in 2018. Just as the food arrived, Aadam started to play up (sods law), so we quickly gobbled it up and made a hasty getaway. The total bill amounted to £57.38, including drinks and service, so approximately £28.70 each. It is definitely pricer than the normal chelo kebab affair one would find at Mahdis or Alounak, but Berenjak has really blown any Perisan competition out of the water.
Berenjak is a teeny, tiny place with just 35 covers; yup, it is small, so be prepared to queue up if you’re planning to make a visit after work. Alternatively, you could visit in the afternoon when they are less busy so any children-related calamities won’t be frowned upon as much!
Any tips on how to dine out with a baby?
For Berenjak’s website, click here.
Have you read my other Persian restaurant posts?