Get ready for Levantine delights at Ceru, newly opened in South Kensington!

We ventured to Ceru’s Test Kitchen in Bermondsey for a food and cocktails pairing in preparation for Ceru opening in South Kensington. After needing to use Google Maps to find their slightly hidden location, in the rain, we received a warm welcome from Patricia and husband Barry (CEO), and settled down at a communal table to a cocktail masterclass by Ceru’s mixologist Michael on how to make the perfect Tanqueray cucumber martini (£7.50); and that this would kick off the Tanqueray gin theme through the evening, as its botanical notes complement Levantine cuisine!


The fresh botanical notes and background note of mint complemented the traditional Levantine nibbles of fluffy, warm flat bread and fadi (£5.50) – a roasted courgette and tahini based dip.


Next followed beautifully light courgette fritters with a crisp exterior served with a za’atar dressing, garnished with spring onions, and on a mint and dill yoghurt dip (£6.25). The saltiness of the feta helped cut through the richer elements of this starter.


Perfectly spiced Persian Kaftas (£8.50) were next, with a second round of cucumber martinis!


They were more delicately spiced than Indian kofta kebabs, and went well with the sauteed edamame beans and onions, and the tartness of the yoghurt helped cut through and balanced the sweeter notes of the dish.

Michael then decided that a lighter, citrusy Ginlette would match perfectly with the crisp Ceru Village Salad (£5.50). Loved the contrast of pita croutons with the summery sumac and za’atar (a mix of Levantine herbs) dressing.


We were then transported to the coast when the selection of citrusy coriander labneh, a spiced roasted beetroot and fennel salad (£4.95), and our favourite: Karides (£9)-sweet grilled garlic prawns arrived; bringing back wonderful holiday memories of seafood lunches by the waterfront. This was a great combination of flavours and textures that complemented each other.


We moved onto a palate cleansing Vine Cherry Tomato & Red Onion Salad (£5.25) with a wonderful Chateau Ksara red, with its super spiced notes and black cherry notes, that worked perfectly with the pretty plate of Rose Scented Kebab Skewers (£9.50) – soft, juicy marinated cubes of lamb served with a mint tzatziki and colourfully decorated with rose petals.


And what better way to round of our meal than with beautifully presented desserts of Dark Chocolate Mousse (£4.50) served in a traditional Levantine tea cup and Flavours of Baklava (£5.25), and more cocktails.


We adored the surprise of the sour cherries at the bottom of the chocolate pot which was complemented by the smoothness of the dark chocolate mousse and crunch from the pistachio top. Also, they had done a deconstructed baklava which had a fantastic hazelnut nut brittle and rounded off with a burnt honey caramel. We love desserts and are already planning on trying their Spice Roasted Pears when we visit, as we are always looking for ideas of what to do with out pears from the garden.

Wonderful Leventine food and hospitality, and fantastic cocktails to match by mixologist Michael. We love their healthier take on traditional Levantine dishes. What are you waiting for, go check them out!


Ceru’s new location and opening hours in South Kensington:

7–9 Bute Street
South Kensington



020 3195 3001

Opening hours

Monday to Friday
8am — 11pm

9am — 11pm

9am — 10pm


Twitter: @PatriciaCeru @CeruLondon #CeruKitchen @tanqueraygin

#Levantine #dessert #middleeastern #hotspot #southkensington #chocolate #treat #foodporn #cucumber #cocktail #cocktailhour @ChateauKsara

@vi_woo @GleeofLife @katiebhughes @vftg_uk

Thank you to Patricia for inviting us to Ceru’s Test Kitchen for a fun evening meeting, eating and drinking with fellow foodies including Vi Vian , Margita , Katie , and Shona .

About goantolondon

International food and travel blog by London based British Goan duo: Jason and Chiara Pinto. Twitter: @goantolondon @jasonpinto100 @chiarapinto About Goa: Goa is a small state on the western coast of India. Though the smallest Indian state, Goa has played an influential role in Indian history. Goa was one of the major trade centers in India, thus it had always been attracting the influential dynasties, seafarers, merchants, traders, monks and missionaries since its earliest known history. Throughout its history Goa has undergone continual transformation, leaving an indelible impression on various aspects of its cultural and socio-economic development. History of Goa: The East-West symbiosis of Goa makes it different from other parts of India, more than the historical and social niche. The history of Goa is a sweet and sour story of colonial heritage, oppressive rulers, a glorious culture, and uneventful immediate past. As a land with the identity of its own, Goa was brought into focus when it was liberated of Portugal from its oppressive rule of around 450 hundred years in 1961. Goa was captured and annexed to the Portuguese in 1510 following the urges of trade and demand of spices and also cottons and indigo. But, Goa has a history that starts much before Portugal even thought of Goa being where it is. Goa was coveted and ruled by a great number of Indian kingdoms and dynasties from the 4th century onwards. The first kingdom to rule Goa and Konkan were Bhojas, who were the feudatories of Ashoka in 4th and 5th centuries AD. The city of Chandrapur (present Chandor) was founded by Prince Chandraditya, son of Chalukya King Pulakesin from 566 to 597 A.D. after this, Goa was ruled consecutively by Silahara Dynasty, Kadamba Danasty, and finally Hoysalas from 1022 to 1342 A.D. From the 14th century onwards, Goa became a great trading center on the west coast, especially in the vast trade of horses imported from the Middle East. This was the time for bigger empires to move in and Vijayanagar Empire conquered it in 1344. But there empire was not going to last too long and in 1347, Bahmani Sultans defeated Vijayanagara forces in 1347 and controlled Goa. Afterwards, it was a time of great prosperity and peace for Gpa, especially during the rules of Yusuf Adil Shah and Ismail Adil Shah. They created beautiful houses, fortified Goa, and encouraged local craftsmen. Their liberal and progressive rule was not going to last too long and situation changed in 1510 A.D. Goa for all purposes was not on the Portuguese Radar even after a long time of their presence in India. When the Portuguese nobleman Alfonso de Albuquerque and his cousin Francisco de Albuquerque were sent with a powerful fleet in 1503 on the orders of King Dom Manuel I, the purpose was to defend the cargoes of spices, mostly pepper, against Arab Muslim raiders. The center of spice trade was Calicut at that time and Portuguese had built forts in Cochin and Cannanore. It was in 1506-08 that an opportunistic pirate, Timoja, persuaded Albuquerque to attack Goa and acquire a better land base. This made Goa, Portugal's first real territorial acquisition in Asia. After a brief period of recapturing by the Muslims, Goa Albuquerque finally captured Goa in 1510. The inquisition of Goa in 1540 reversed the previous liberal policy of Albuquerque and imposed strict censorship of literature and new laws to forbade non-Christians from professions. Forced conversions took place continuously, censorship was established on literature, the temples were destroyed, and non-Christian priests, holy men, and teachers were evicted. This led to continuous fleeing of Hindus from Goa to other parts of India. It is not that the relationship with Portugal brought only destruction for the Goans. Portuguese also built great churches like the church of St. Cajetan and Bom Jesus basilica in Old Goa, which is a pilgrimage site for the Christians from around the world. But it is also true that pre-1961; Goa was a highly impoverished region very backward and primitive. It is after the liberation that Goa of today has emerged and it has surprised even the locals many of whom had left their homeland before its liberation. Portugal and India are today friends and Goa continues to be a fascinating blend of Latin and Oriental. Information sourced from:
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