There’s no surprise that we frequent Queensway as that’s where Normah’s is. During all these visits, we couldn’t help but notice a new restaurant was in the works nearby. The floor-to-ceiling windows have totally caught my attention and, every time we visited Normah’s, we observed week by week as it transformed from an empty space into a charming well-decorated restaurant. Finally, it is revealed that this new restaurant in the area is Ceru Restaurant and we went to try it out a few weeks after it has officially opened its doors to the public.
Ceru Restaurant: a Levantine sharing concept
Ceru Restaurant specialises in modern Eastern Mediterranean cuisine and runs a small-plates sharing concept. Its seasonal menu draws inspiration from the Levant region and showcases a kaleidoscope of Middle Eastern flavours. There is a good variety of vegetarian, meat, and seafood dishes to choose from and it is recommended to order 3 dishes per person.
From the lighting, design, to smaller details such as the textured walls, Ceru Restaurant Queensway has this magical effect of transporting you away from London and straight into the Mediterranean. It’s got this chilled and relaxing ambience but with a sophisticated touch. My favourite part of the restaurant though is what’s tucked behind the large wooden door at the back of the restaurant. It’s a door to the bathroom but there is a small courtyard-like design that’s very pretty and aesthetic before leading to the actual bathrooms.
The Food: What We Ordered
All meats served are halal at Ceru Restaurant. There is no pork on the menu but alcohol is served at the restaurant. An overall rating is available at the bottom of this post. Here is what we ordered:
Lamb Shoulder (£14)
The lamb shoulder immediately caught our eye and we just had to get it. Slow roasted for 5 hours in a blend of 12 Shawarma spices, the meat was incredibly tender with a melt-in-your-mouth sensation. Laced with a delectable sweetness from the pomegranate sauce as well as fresh mint and pistachio, the flavours were well-balanced and not overly rich. The portion was a little small in our opinion but the flavours were fantastic.
Shish Taouk (£10)
The Shish Taouk comes in two large skewers, served over a bed of herb yoghurt. The chicken was generally tender to taste but we felt that it was missing a touch of zing to it. We couldn’t quite pinpoint what it was but the flavours seemed a little bit off-balance to us. It wasn’t bad per se but we couldn’t say we particularly enjoyed this one.
Roasted Leg of Rabbit (£12)
Next up was the tender leg of French rabbit, served with spicy cannellini beans and a citrus dressing. If you haven’t had rabbit before, it’s kind of similar to the taste of chicken but gamier. This roasted leg of rabbit tasted more like chicken that’s with an earthier touch but not much gaminess to it. Rabbit meat is naturally leaner so the meat was a little bit on the dry side but not too bad overall. The cannellini beans were not spicy as described but were a great munch. All in all, it was an okay dish but a rather easily forgettable one.
Spiced Polenta & Feta Fries (£5)
Moving onto the side dishes, we went with the Polenta & Feta Fries, which comes with a side of mint & dill yoghurt. We really enjoyed this one and wished there were more! They were perfectly golden and crispy on the outside, and deliciously mushy on the inside. The flavours were perfect – light and savoury but with a mild cheesy touch.
Orez CERU (Arabic scented rice) (£5)
We also had the Arabic fried rice, which came very heavily scented with cinnamon. It is also laced with crispy onions and sultanas, which added a subtle sweetness to the dish. It was generally fragrant and perfumy to taste but it’s not a flavour that we are particularly used to, hence not head over heels about it. But it’s a decent side dish all in all!
Flavours of Baklava Ice Cream (£7.5)
Last but not least, desserts. We had the Flavours of Baklava Ice Cream – so not a baklava ice cream but baklava flavours in the form of ice cream. Essentially, it is cardamom ice cream with nut brittle and burnt honey caramel. The ice cream was absolutely delicious and was perfectly creamy and velvety to taste. The burnt honey caramel chunks were quite an addictive munch. They were almost like candies but better. With a light dust of pistachios on top, it added great texture to the ice cream. We absolutely loved it.
Passionfruit Mojito (£5)
For drinks, there are a handful of mocktail options to choose from. The other half had the passionfruit mojito, which was very refreshing and tangy to taste. Other non-alcoholic mojitos on the menu include Orange & Ginger Mojito, Apple Mojito, and Rhubarb Mojito.
CERU Green Detox (£3.50)
As for me, I went with the CERU Green Detox tea, which is essentially hot green tea with fresh mint and a dash of honey. It’s a fantastic drink to finish the meal with and I especially enjoyed the warming and soothing sensation of the hot honey in the tea.
Another hot tea that comes highly recommended by the staff is their signature Turkish Apple Tea. Alternatively, if you order coffee and/or hot chocolate, it comes with a slice of baklava!
Restaurant Review Summary
Whilst the food hasn’t blown our minds, our overall experience at Ceru Restaurant has been enjoyable. Some dishes were more memorable, and some rather easily forgettable. It’s a little bit pricey in our opinion but the restaurant ambience was lovely so it’s not too bad for an occasion. If we were to return to the restaurant, I would be quite keen to try out their seafood options as the menu does look enticing, albeit more expensive. It’s certainly something different in the area which is worth trying out if you’re around Queensway.
All meats served are halal at Ceru Restaurant. Alcohol is served at the restaurant.
Nearest station: Queensway / Bayswater