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Ex-Gymkhana and Brigadiers chef to open Soho restaurant inspired by Tehran

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Ex-Gymkhana and Brigadiers chef Kian Samyani will open Berenjak in Soho this October offering kebabs inspired by Tehran’s hole-in-the-wall street vendors.

Backed by Karam, Jyo and Sunaina Sethi’s JKS Restaurants, Berenjak, which takes its name from a toasted rice snack served at funfairs in Iran, will open in Romily Street.

Samyani (pictured below) has said he will evoke the style of a rustic Persian kebab house using seasonal English produce to reinterpret signature dishes.

Berenjak will serve mazeh, an assortment of small plates including kashk e bademjoon – blackened aubergine with whey, walnuts and dried mint, and ash e reshteh – an Azerbaijani bean and noodle soup. To follow guests can choose from a selection of kebabs cooked on the open kitchen’s charcoal mangal, served with freshly baked breads.

Kebabs include jigar with lamb’s liver, bergamot and lavash, and koobideh, a tender minced meat dish. Small bowls of traditional khoresht, a Persian-style stew, will also be served.


Samyani said: “Most of my memories of growing up revolve around food, and in an Iranian family, the dishes of my parents’ homeland were always present on the dinner table.

“Spices, cooling dips and handfuls of herbs are the flavours of my childhood, so it’s great to be reinterpreting them in Soho. For me, it wouldn’t be an Iranian dinner without sitting elbow-to-elbow with friends and family, sharing each dish until every scrap has gone – I’m looking forward to recreating that at Berenjak.”

House-prepared spirits will be paired with sharbat, a refreshing Persian drink made by combining fruit and flower sherbets with sparkling water, and finished with herbs from Berenjak’s sabzi garden.

Top 100: Jyotin, Karam and Sunaina Sethi, JKS Restaurants>>

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