The hotly anticipated launch of Jeru, under the helm of esteemed Head Chef Roy Ner did not disappoint. Fresh from 2 Hat (2 Michelin equivalent) Sydney restaurant ARIA, Chef Ner lands on British soil to celebrate his indulgent and eclectic food story.
Jeru is somewhat unassuming from the outside with a simple arched door and shop frontage on Berkeley Street, Mayfair, but once over the threshold you’re engulfed by a world of scents and flavours transporting you on a journey along the Eastern Mediterranean coast, all the way from Syria down through Egypt. We couldn’t wait to get stuck in.
The menu is designed to be shared and whether you’re a carnivore, pescatarian or veggie there’s plenty to tantalise the taste buds (vegans however might feel a little hard done by). Take your pick from hot and cold mezze dishes, raw and cured fish and follow with meats, fish or speciality steaks, charcoal flame cooked in the open kitchen right before your eyes. If you can’t decide then follow our lead and opt for the gastronomic chef’s selection, a menu of 9 savoury courses, sides and sweet bites.
Chef Roy has a quote on the menu that reads “Bread is the core of every meal and sharing a meal is the start of an everlasting friendship”, we can confirm that once you’ve tried the potato fermented wood fired bread with truffle honey you’ll want to be lifelong friends with both the loaf and any pair of hands that helped make it. Never before have we been so lost for words over something so humble as bread. The bakery at Jeru is referred to as a “celebration of flour, stone and soul” and it truly feels like love and soul has been poured by the bucket load into that wood fired bread – we’ll be back to visit the bakery alone.
Other highlights from the chef’s selection included hasselback jerusalem artichokes cooked in rendered chicken fat or schmaltz – affectionately coined “Jewish medicine” by Chef Ner. Mom’s shish barak dumplings with beef cheek, leek yoghurt and mint were melt in the mouth and the only thing disappointing about the fried halloumi doughnuts was that there wasn’t enough of them! Heirloom courgette salad, roast monkfish steak and charcoal octopus brought a perfectly timed lighter moment to the proceedings.
Designed as a series of interlocking spaces over two floors, Jeru blends contemporary sophistication and indulgence with a homely Levantine rusticity to great effect. Pass the marble topped bakery and filter through past the open working kitchen where charcuterie fridges are laid bare for guests to nosey. Layla bar serves up fine wines and house blended cocktails; perfect to muse away a few hours whilst overlooking the theatrical lower level dining room and occasional saxophonist.
Dining and service is bustling so if you’re looking for a quiet setting for a peaceful proposal or to entertain weary parents this might not be your first choice but if you want indulgent surroundings, amazing food and the option to stay until the early hours then make sure Jeru is top of your list.
On a final note, I’ve always found a lot can be said about a venue from its washrooms – have they thought the concept through down to the hand dryers and soap or were the conveniences in fact an inconvenient after thought? Well, the former is true at Jeru as cavernous unisex toilets are designed in the style of a Hamam. Solid oak doors meet glistening aqua marine tiles and marble surfaces, whilst heady fragrances of rose, sandalwood and oud fill the air and take you a million miles away from a Mayfair basement. If it wasn’t for the beckoning food we could’ve stayed there all night.
To book a table visit Jeru, chef’s selection at £69 per person.