One of Dua Lipa’s recently noted five favourite London restaurants — the Soho-based Iranian grill restaurant, Berenjak, from chef Kian Samyani and JKS Restaurants — will move into the site vacated by Flor in Borough Market this spring.
Following the announcement on Instagram, information released by the restaurant group today, 7 February, says that it “will offer an expanded menu that includes several new homestyle Iranian dishes, alongside all the signature Berenjak classics,” including its charcoal-grilled kababs inspired by the hole-in-the-walls of Iranian capital Tehran: minced lamb koodibeh and poussin jujeh tond. Many of the signature mazeh small plates from the Soho restaurant will also make the jump to Borough, including the black chickpea hummus, the Panir Sabzi (Persian feta with radish, fresh herbs, and nuts), and the taftoon — clay-baked seeded flatbread.
A new series of “family-style” dishes, said to be inspired by those chef Samayani recalls from childhood, will be cooked on a rotisserie grill, including whole saffron chicken zereshk pollow. It will sit alongside new starters added to the mazeh section, plus, a full menu of classic Iranian desserts, and an expanded cocktail and wine list. Takeaway lunch boxes will be introduced for the office workers who use Borough Market in the midweek.
Berenjak opened on Soho’s Romilly Street in 2018 but has really taken off since and during the pandemic — a favourite not just of the likes of popstar Lipa and model friend Bella Hadid, but footballers like Rio Ferdinand, Paulo Dybala, and Leroy Sané; chefs such as the Salt Bae; and the crown prince of Dubai, Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum.
The news of Berenjak’s journey east comes after JKS and partner James Lowe announced that its bakery Flor ceased operations at Bedale Street in January. Despite the ingenuity and creativity from the likes of Pam Yung, Anna Higham, Helen Evans, and Lowe in delivering some of the most interesting bakery, pastry, and small plates, and the hugely successful ASAP Pizza lockdown pivot, Flor apparently never found a firm enough foothold in London’s most famous food market. JKS will hope the relative fame and approachability of Berenjak will bypass some of the obstacles encountered by the site’s previous occupant.
Berenjak 2 in Borough will be JKS Restaurants’s twenty-first London restaurant, adding to a portfolio which spans Michelin-Starred Gymkhana, Sabor, Bao, Hoppers, Brigadiers, and the delivery only brand Motu.
Check back soon for full menu details and an exact opening date in the spring of 2022.