Owners Elena Smileva and Jana Miseva are originally from Macedonia, and have opened the two-storey, Cazenove Road restaurant with a nod to their roots as well as their international travels.
Created with former Nobu, Maze, and Ottolenghi chef Tom Catley (who is only involved in an advisory role, and has not taken on the position of head chef), the menu will include Balkan-style dishes such as Beef Cevapi – a flatbread filled with mini beef patties, kajmak (a kind of milk spread), fresh sweet onions, and ajvar (a spread made from roasted peppers).
There is also harissa-spiced chicken with date jam and chickpea mayonnaise; and spicy squid hotpot with aioli, basil, and spring onion, plus flamed pork rib with apple cider and treacle, peanuts and coriander.
Vegetables play a key role, including charred cauliflower with kidney bean hummus, pistachio and sumac; roasted aubergine with jalapeno, miso, and tahini yogurt; smoked celery root, brassicas, hazelnuts, lime, and chilli; and regularly changing seasonal salads.
The signature dessert will be a raspberry baklava created from a family-inspired recipe.
The restaurant is aiming to become an established part of independent businesses in Stoke Newington, and sources its ingredients from many local producers.
These include granola from Husk & Honey; salad from Growing Communities; Hackney Square Root Sodas; beer from Redchurch Brewery; Mission Coffee; and bread from The Dusty Knuckle, a Dalston bakery that offers training and employment to young people through their work experience scheme.
The wine selection will feature four varieties from the Stobi winery, in Macedonia’s Tikves region, and cocktails will be along the lines of the white-peach vanilla Margarita; sage-grapefruit Old Fashioned; and a basil-strawberry Collins.
Décor-wise, the restaurant has large windows offering much natural light, with cosy tables set around an open kitchen, and a decked garden filled with plants and herbs.
The restaurant will be open Tuesday to Sunday, including until 11pm Tuesday to Thursday, and until midnight at the weekends.