Sarona – Middle Eastern Cuisine with a Modern Twist
October 19, 2018
Morocco, Israel, and all places Middle Eastern spring to mind when you experience Sarona. Set in stylish Clerkenwell, just a short walk from super hip Farringdon, it’s a relaxing yet vibrant space with exposed painted brick walls, low industrial lighting and areas of romantic secluded spaces. At the back is a sky-lit dining room – perfect to escape.
Middle Eastern cuisine is based on that concept of sharing plates very fitting to the culture in the Eastern region. “Mezze” means to taste or snack together and Sarona fulfills this concept perfectly.
Previously ‘Workshop Coffee’, everyone wondered what was going to take it’s place and Sarona has added some extra flair to the vibrant space. Being the brainchild of three friends, the menu at Sarona is inspired by the chef’s personal journey and his North African background. The truly dynamic thing about Sarona is that the menu changes seasonally and a big part of that is driven by what comes fresh from the market daily. It offers an inspired menu with a true taste of Tel Aviv – a real Middle Eastern hideaway with dishes full of flavour.
With my favourite cuisine being that of Mediterranean Middle Eastern influence, The flavours literally take your taste buds captive and very healthy.
Upon arrival, Sarona felt very modest from the outside – orange is the colour of choice, but once inside you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the expansive yet warm and cosy restaurant. There is also a central bar serving up classic cocktails, wines from Israeli growers, Lebanese and Israeli craft beer for all my Martini lovers p the Turkish Espresso Martini is to die for-amazing!
The host assisted me with the choices on the menu and explained each of them in detail. Split into Fresh, Fried, Comforting, Chargrilled & Grilled, Sides and Desserts, the choice is plentiful. Tabuleh from the Fresh selection is a Middle Eastern Salad delicious by itself or spread on pita, while the Israel-inspired Green Shakshuka is packed full of leafy greens, fresh herbs and eggs and if you want a little bit of spice in your life’s try the Spicy Shakshuka with that extra kick.
Sarona’s comforting foods are full of nourishment; Moroccan lentil stew and tasty suffered courgettes with rice, raisin, dill, minced lamb, confit leeks and Lebanese yoghurt – this dish is truly authentic. Baba Ganoush with its rich olive oil and pine nuts, is a speciality. For a truly Middle Eastern journey you must order Merguez Sausage, burnt vegetables (rather smoked), the Tahini which is a condiment made from ground hulled sesame, and the Harissa – hot chilli which is served as a condiment and once you taste it you won’t be able to stop!
My choices were Homemade Pita Bread, Fried Whitebait with spicy aioli and fresh coriander, Hummus Masabacha, Chicken Pargit and Labneh and tomato seeds, grilled to perfection and set on a bed of yoghurt. I enjoyed delicious sides of Tahini and rice. It was a very tasty offering, bursting with flavour and extremely filling. You would think after such a hearty meal there would be no space for dessert but you’d be wrong.. Who could resist Peach Crumble with vanilla ice cream? It was soooo good! Sarona is definitely on the list of London restaurants which serve up pure Middle Eastern delight.
Written by Luxuria Lifestyle UK’s Rene Byrd