Ceru at the London Riviera:
There are days when eating al-fresco is the perfect solution. There are days when even the most stalwart outdoor types will agree it is not. Generally by the middle of June the weather has improved to the point where it’s warm enough to be outdoors in the early evening, even if it is cloudy. This year Summer seems to be off to a late start.
The last time I bumped into Ceru was in their excellent pop-up in Fitzrovia. Now the Fitzrovia venue has closed and Ceru are currently providing delicious food on the banks of the Thames just a few hundred yards from London Bridge Station while they work on the launch of a permanent London site. The London Riviera is the same space occupied by Gaucho and a couple of other restaurants; a modern City square which has been decked out for the summer with comfortable recliners, cute flamingo ‘tables’ and a shack selling cocktails, wine, beer and street food.
I was invited along to London Riviera on an evening which would perhaps have been better indoors. But, we’d all booked. Wrapped up in rugs we enjoyed a summery cocktail while the food was prepared, gazing wistfully out at the ominous grey clouds.
Happily, Tom Kime’s food is good enough to cut through even the deepest Festival downpours. So once the series of dishes started to appear we all quickly warmed up.
Deep fried squid and courgette fritters were both delicious and light enough to just leave us wanting more.
Perhaps my favourite dish was this pretty salad of beetroot with yoghurt and some special roasted spiced almonds called Lohz. Tom explained that he’d discovered them on his travels and had replicated the dish. The recipe is one which is included in his latest book ‘Street Food’ and looks simple enough for even someone like me to have a go at making. I’m looking forward to experimenting!
I’ve had the lamb before and (hopefully) I’ll get to have it again! I really enjoyed the unusual pairing of cranberries with spinach too.
Both the white bean and the apple salad were delicious of course, though I am sure they would have worked better had there been even a glimmer of sun to warm us all up.
The spicy chicken though, did hit the spot perfectly for me on this rather grey summer evening. Tender and moist, spiced with just a hint of chilli and pepper, this one would be on my wishlist if I was just passing by and needed a quick bite too eat.
And, to finish the meal – an ice-cream with baklava brittle. Something of the British spirit has us all enjoying ice-cream whatever the weather and here, the company, cocktails and beautifully cooked street food dishes we’d already eaten helped. Tom Kime is a charismatic and enthusiastic advocate of a kind of world food fusion – a wonderfully colourful palatte of recipes from which he creates something quite unique and very special.
I was a guest at the Supper Club to introduce Ceru to the London Riviera. But, you can pop along at any time from 10am to 10pm and enjoy the food. And, that’s the perfect way to experience Ceru – pick a sunny afternoon or warm summer’s evening and just relax.
More about the menus can be found on the London Riviera Website
Queen’s Walk, More London,
London SE1 2DB, United Kingdom