Katz, who was also previously at Made in Camden at the Roundhouse, Galvin Bistrot de Luxe and Zest, is opening Berber & Q with another former Ottolenghi staff member, Mattia Bianchi.
The restaurant will serve a variety of barbecued and grilled meats and vegetable dishes, as well as Middle Eastern-inspired sandwiches and sweets.
Located under a weathered brick railway arch, Berber & Q will feature an open mangal (Turkish barbeque), charcoal grill and smoker at its centre, with a long wooden bar, dark booths and communal sharing tables made from railway sleepers.
Katz has developed his menu to inspire sharing, with dishes split into ‘Meat’, ‘Vegetables’, ‘Sandwiches’ and ‘Sweets’ options and all food served on communal mess trays.
“Cooking for me is all about simplicity, no fuss, no pomposity. I want Berber & Q to be fun and informal. They'll be a few dishes that you'll eat with your hands. The vibe is all about sharing good food, in a close setting with great friends,” said Katz.
Food & drink
Signature meat dishes will include Lamb Mechoui - pulled forequarter of lamb with cumin salt for dipping; quail with rose and plum yoghurt; and Beef Kefta with walnut and apricot.
Vegetable dishes will include blackened aubergine with walnut and tahini; cauliflower with turmeric and lime butter; and glazed beetroot with date syrup and whipped feta.
Main dishes will be accompanied by home-made sauces such as Zhug – a red chilli sauce and green tahini, and come with grilled Israeli Ciapita and Berber house salad.
Desserts will include dishes such as Rose Malabi and ice cream pitta with banana and salted caramel.
Bianchi, who will oversee the front-of-house at the restaurant, has curated small wine list that will change regularly and feature wines from producers in Southern Italy, Spain, and France, as well as lesser- known bottles from Morocco and Turkey.
Guest lagers from local breweries will be served on tap, and there will be a variety of Middle Eastern cocktails made using Lebanese Arak, homemade bitters, syrups, infused spirits and liquors on offer.
“Our passion for Middle Eastern and North African food is enormous. We live in London but we love the 'lights down' buzzy dining culture of bars in New York. We want to bring the bits we love from all these cultures together at Berber & Q,” said Bianchi.
Berber & Q will open at Arch 338, Acton Mews, London, E8 4EA in Spring 2015