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Brigadiers and Gymkhana Owners’ Next Site Will Be Persian

With chef Kian Samyani, JKS Restaurants is opening Berenjak on Romilly Street in Soho this October

Tehranian kebabs at Berenjak, a new Soho restaurant from JKS Restaurants in London Marcus Cobden/Berenjak

The owners of some of London’s most lauded Indian and South Asian restaurants have announced that this autumn, they will open a first Persian-inspired restaurant in Soho. As first reported by MCA, Berenjak, which will be led by the Iranian chef Kian Samyani with the support of the JKS siblings, Karam, Sunaina, and Jyotin — will open on Romilly Street in October.

Samyani has been cooking at Brigadiers in the City since it opened in June, having cooked at Gymkhana in Mayfair alongside Karam Sethi. The food at Berenjak will depart somewhat from Brigadiers’ Indian mess hall dining, leaning into Persian tradition: kababs, khoresht, and sharing plates — mazeh.

“The restaurant will take inspiration from the hole-in-the-wall kebab houses and street vendors that line the streets of Tehran,” an announcement said this evening.

The design of the London restaurant will be in keeping with this, it says — “very pared back, metal shopfront [and] no awning.”

Persian food at Soho restaurant Berenjak, owned by Brigadiers and Gymkhana restaurateurs JKS Restaurants in London
A selection of Persian-inspired dishes, including Iranian khoresht stews
Marcus Cobden/Berenjak

Samyani’s family lived in Tehran until the 1970s; and the chef has since traveled back regularly “researching the food that he grew up on and that inspired his mum’s kitchen.”

Former Gymkhana and Brigadiers chef Kian Samyani, who will open Berenjak in Soho, London with JKS Restaurants
Former Gymkhana and Brigadiers chef Kian Samyani
Marcus Cobden/Berenjak

JKS says that Samyani has an interesting story to tell. “He’s bringing something very exciting and special to the London food scene. He’s young and very cool,” it added. The Sethis themselves could very easily be the subject of the quotation: their considered investment and opening of a string of highly lauded, celebrated and buzzy restaurants has defined a large tranche of the London restaurant scene in the five years. This is the first time that the group has backed a chef who has come up through its restaurants.

More soon.