Just recently popped-up and will move on to bigger premises in a few months, Ceru is a eastern Mediterranean streetfood restaurant serving seasonal dishes and a variety of drinks. In a small and intimate space on a street corner it offers a short menu of meat, fish, seafood and vegetarian plates.
We turned up unannounced on Monday evening in search of something to eat and drink and found the restaurant empty except for the staff who were eager to please us. We ordered one veggie and one meat meze, some drinks and perched ourselves on the stools facing out into Rathbone Place.
On a crowded evening it would be a very cramped experience and I’d quickly feel rather hemmed in with little elbow room or space behind me. As it was my companion and I were only joined by a couple of other diners during the time we spent there and so the seating was not too unbearable.
The food arrived quickly and we nibbled at our small but satisfying dishes. My herbed zucchini fritters with feta cheese dish was tasty and the flavour was full without being overpowering. To drink I had a non-alcoholic cocktail: pomegranate, soda, ginger ale and fresh lime in a tall glass with ice. The pale, pink liquid combined a good balance of sweetness and fruity flavour, and was refreshing.
My companion had chicken kebab marinated with lemon and saffron, with a small glass of red wine. He enjoyed the dish and the wine but complained to me about the price and the type of music being played. I’m inclined to agree with him.
Diners are encouraged to order a number of the small dishes — mezes — and share them. If you want a good satisfying meal you need to order perhaps five or more between you. We opted just to have a quick meal and neither of us would have felt comfortable sitting in such a confined setting for too long. Much of the space in the restaurant is taken up with the service counter, preparation area and coffee machine. One of the staff mentioned that they are hoping to find larger premises.
We were happy giving it a try before moving on somewhere else much in the style of visiting tapas bars one would find at the other end of the Mediterranean.
Herbed zucchini fritters with feta cheese dish (£5.25) pomegranate, soda, ginger ale and fresh lime (£4.50); chicken kebab marinated with lemon and saffron (£8.00) red wine (£5.35). There is an optional 10 percent service charge. Ceru, 29 Rathbone Place, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1JG.