2-6 Station Parade, Willesden Green NW2 4NH
020 8208 9292
11 am – midnight (Monday-Friday) 10:30 am – midnight (Saturday) 10:30 am – 10:30 pm (Sunday)
Expect to pay: around £3 for an appetizer, £7 for a main, £6.50 for a cocktail
Rating: 8 out of 10
We enjoyed last month's cocktail sampling visit to the Willesden Green location of Shish so much that we decided to see how the restaurant fared around lunchtime. We’re happy to report that Shish doesn’t lose any of its swanky cool in the harsh light of day (well, in a cloudy glow, anyway – it’s London after all), and the cocktails are just as stunning. The food, on the other hand…no, wait, that’s still great at lunchtime, too.
We imbibed in the Holy Shish for our first (ahem) cocktail, a splendid lesson in mixology: blackberries and mint muddled with vodka, blackberry liqueur, sugar and fresh lime juice. Our table’s drinks tray was a rainbow of colors and textures, from thick coconut concoctions to iced smoothie-esque drinks.
To eat, to eat. We began with a tempting array of mezze, or small dishes, both cold and hot that whet our appetite for the main kebab platters. Creamy, chilled tzatziki with just the right amount of cooling mint, rich, thick hummus generously drizzled with olive oil and paprika, small and tender falafels, banana-leaves festively wrapped around supple chicken. The kebab plates were a vision of pared-down chic that let the flavours do the talkin’: tender cubes of meat bursting with Silk Road spices and flavours. The chicken kebab was rubbed with coconut milk, palm sugar and peanuts, and came with a choice of couscous drizzled with pine nuts and thin curls of fried onion. Desserts were also standout, with lip-smacking rhubarb pistachio crepes accessorised with ice cream.
With its cunning integration of Middle Eastern and Asian spices and dishes, Shish delivers a seriously brilliant meal at an affordable price. And they do takeaway, so if you don’t have the time to linger over a 2-hour elderflower-martini lunch, you can at the very least satisfy your midday mezze urge whilst desk-bound.
By Kira Hesser
Photography by Chris Osburn