In Sarona We've Discovered A Middle Eastern Gem Of A Restaurant
Sarona is a Clerkenwell restaurant with orange awnings that looks rather modest from the outside, but step inside and some fantastic Middle Eastern cuisine awaits.
As you'd expect with cuisine from this region, it's all about ordering lots of sharing dishes — set courses would feel far too stuffy for a bit of casual dining.
The spicy shakshuka arrives presented in a frying pan sizzling away. The combination of poached eggs with onions, tomatoes and peppers is a hearty start and the accompanying pita bread felt optional as the dish stands on its own. The flavours complement each other well and it's lightly spiced to ensure it both sizzles in the pan and on our tongues.
Thick tahini with grilled cauliflower florets burst with flavour, and the chicken pargit (boneless thigh) on a bed of yogurt is a lovely partner when we're alternating bites between it and the cauliflower.
Star billing belongs to the burnt aubergine. It's so smoky that upon closing our eyes, find ourselves whisked back to the last summer barbecue we had. The smoky taste fills your nostrils and tastebuds, and the texture of the aubergine is so soft it's almost a paste. Every dish is tasty, but if you come to Sarona and don't order the aubergine, you're doing it wrong.
We popped in for lunch and in truth over-ordered a bit — we were stuffed by leaving time. We've sampled a lot of superb Middle Eastern restaurants recently and this is definitely another one to add to our list of Levantine loves.
Sarona, 27 Clerkenwell Road, EC1M 5RN. Open Monday to Friday. The meal in this review would have cost £40 for two excluding drinks. Sarona will also be hosting a Mezze bottomless brunch on 8 September for £35.
Last Updated 30 August 2018