From Wednesday 25 January, Berber & Q, the Mediterranean and North African inspired grill house from brothers Josh and Paul Katz and Mattia Bianchi, will usher in an exciting new era for the much-loved restaurant in Haggerston.
Taking influence and inspiration from their favourite places and extensive travels, combined with a passion for barbecue, the trio celebrate the start of the year with renovations to the restaurant and a new menu.
Taking over the old taxi repair shop under the arches, Josh and the team opened Berber & Q back in 2015, and it has since become much loved for its laid-back, upbeat vibes and feasting-style menu which takes influence from the food capitals of the world, including Marrakesh, Istanbul and Tel Aviv. Its atmospheric alcoves have since drawn in crowds of locals and Londoners alike.
This year, the team will shine a new light on ‘The Arch’ with a nod to its original inspirations through bold touches, with striking new signage to hand-painted graffiti and artwork, much like that found in the backstreets of Marrakech and Fez. Whilst a warm palette of earthen tones with bright touches, wide banquette seating and cushions bring more warmth to the space, the exposed brick arch will retain its underground edge with upholstery in distressed leather and velvet.
With renovations under way, Executive Chef Jeremy Borrow - previously at The Palomar and Raphael in Israel - has been creating a new selection of dishes on the menu, such as grilled za’atar flatbread - perfect for mopping up matbucha, a Moroccan slow-cooked salad of rich roasted tomatoes and peppers - and harira, a spiced tomato & chickpea soup, also hailing from the Moroccan capital.
New vegetarian additions to the menu include crispy artichoke hearts, served with a fiery pilpelchuma aioli, and grilled halloumi accompanied by spicy pumpkin tershi and fir tree honey.
Seafood will also take centre-stage, with options such as char-grilled squid with burnt aubergine za’alouk; smoked mussels in a heady harissa broth with preserved lemon, and grilled sea bass with a Tunisian Chraimeh sauce.
Meatier plates include marinated chicken thigh with vibrant chermoula and tajine of beef kefta, cooked with Jerusalem artichoke & pearl onion, to be enjoyed alongside house sides, from heaps of steaming saffron couscous to batata hara, a take on sweet potato fries with a spicy salsa dip.
Josh shared, “Berber & Q is where it all started for us, and that’s why it’s so important that we celebrate how far we have come - whilst also changing with the times.
'The renovation is a way of giving our restaurant new energy whilst bringing guests a menu which continues to showcase what we are all about: simple, delicious food that’s made to be shared.”