LDNReview

There’s a lot more to this blue-window-framed restaurant on the top floor of Kingly Court than you’ll know just by looking. With a menu of small and big-plate Syrian classics, it’s a homely spot that feels like a courtyard on the Mediterranean. This is surprising given that it’s 100 metres from Oxford Circus. Also surprising is that each of the dishes here has a small twist that isn’t all that obvious from reading the menu. Crispy doughnut-holed falafel, charred aubergine skin filled with excellent baba ganouj, and perfectly-round pitta.

There’s no doubt that eating is both the reason you’ll come here, and the reason you’ll be back, but when the story behind a restaurant is as important as Imad’s, you should know a thing or two about it. Before serving falafel in W1, chef Imad Alarnab owned several restaurants in Damascus which were destroyed during the Syrian war. Forced to flee the country, he finally ended up in the UK where he worked first as a car salesman, only to find his way back to the kitchen hosting supper clubs, pop-ups, and raising money with Choose Love, a charity focused on helping refugees (to which £1 of each bill from Imad’s is donated) before finally opening his own restaurant again in 2021.

Imad’s Syrian Kitchen review image

Some of the dishes here are phenomenal, and they’re all under £15. A lamb fillet, so deliciously seasoned and tender, served with sun dried tomatoes and pitta bread, which when eaten like a DIY sandwich will make you want to ghost Hovis forever. Baba ghanoj so smokey, and generously drizzled with tahini and pomegranate molasses, that it’s one of the best in London. And not to forget Imad’s famous falafel, which have often been the star dish at his previous pop-ups and supper clubs, which is totally understandable once you’ve tried them. This is that place you remember when you’re on Oxford Street with a friend who hates perching on stools, it’s a place to bring your parents for a nice dinner when you’re paying, and it’s a great place for anyone looking for a relaxed lunch in central.

Food Rundown

Hummus

Thick, creamy, and topped with whole chickpeas, this is a great start to your meal.

Imad’s Syrian Kitchen review image

Baba Ghanoj

This is one of the best baba ganoush experiences you’ll have in London. Make sure to get some of that charred aubergine skin in the mix.

Imad’s Syrian Kitchen review image

Falafel

These little morsels have serious crunch factor. Crispy on the outside, they’re wholesome, filling, and perfect for snacking.

Imad’s Syrian Kitchen review image

Mtafayt Bamyeh

If you think you don’t like okra, think again. The roasted okra is served on a dollop of labneh, coriander paste, and olive oil. Paired with the pitta, this dish will push okra up in your personal vegetable ranking system.

Sharihat Ghanam

Tender pieces of lamb cooked medium-well, served with a warm pitta pre-spread with a rich tomatoey sauce. This is our favourite dish here and you should definitely have it on your table.

Imad’s Syrian Kitchen review image

Pitta

Fluffy, fresh, and served warm, this is memorable pitta.

Imad’s Syrian Kitchen review image

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