Imad’s Syrian Kitchen finally set to open next month

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Imad’s Syrian Kitchen finally set to open next month

Related tags: Syrian food, Restaurant, Chef

The first permanent restaurant from Syrian chef Imad Alarnab is finally set to open in London's Soho next month, having been delayed twice as a result of Coronavirus lockdowns.

Taking the space previously held Asma Khan's Darjeeling Express in Kingly Court, Imad’s Syrian Kitchen will serve a selection of Syrian mezze including falafel; mtafayt bamyeh (labneh topped with garlic, coriander and okra; and fattet macdous (crispy baby aubergine stuffed with lamb, topped with flatbread and a garlic cumin sauce).

Main courses, meanwhile, will include hamsit iahem (slow-cooked marinated lamb shoulder); jaj mtafaieh (chicken thighs roasted with vegetables); and anginaar (roasted artichoke stuffed with vegetables).

Desserts will include homemade Syrian pistachio ice cream; and baklava.

A concise wine list of lower intervention wines from Eastern Europe and the Levant will complement the Syrian menu.

The list will predominantly lesser known wine making regions, showcasing a selection of Greek, Croatian, Georgian and Lebanese wines.

Imad’s Syrian Kitchen had originally been set to open in November, before the second national lockdown delayed the launch, which was then rescheduled for December.

However, the opening was subsequently delayed again after restaurants in the capital were ordered to close as a result of the country's tiered restrictions.

Alarnab, who has been cooking in London since arriving in the UK just under five years ago, previously ran two successful restaurants and a cafe and chain of juice bars in Damascus, but his businesses were destroyed during the Syrian Civil War.

In July 2015 he fled Syria and made his way through Europe eventually arriving in London in October 2015.

The following year he brought his family over to England.

Alarnab sought refugee status in the UK, initially working as a car salesman before returning to his passion for food and cooking.

Discussing his opening plans back in September last year, Alarnab said: "I am so very excited that I am now finally going to open my own restaurant in the heart of London, the city I and my family now call home.

“Losing my restaurants in Damascus was devastating, but I am so happy that I can now bring my Syrian cooking to Kingly Court in Soho, to the people of London who have supported me so much over the last few years. Thank you to you all and I cannot wait to welcome you to my new venture, this is a dream come true.”

Imad’s Syrian Kitchen will donate £1 from every bill to refugee charity Choose Love.

Related topics: Openings, Restaurant

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