There is a shortage of decent eating places in the no man’s land that is Kingsland road, between Hoxton and Haggerston, after the Vietnamese cafes. Dukes Brew & Que kicks in just past Haggerston station as you enter a flow of more pubs and cafes, but there is little else around, or at least I thought. Recently google has become my friend and having searched the area to pick up some suggested dining spots before a camp musical at The Glory, I saw this Berber & Q place and checked out the website.
Talk about a hidden gem. This little mews tucked under the overground bridge just before Haggerston station has a couple of drink/food spots (including Draughts) built into old station brick alcoves. The menu boasts a solid meat offering. A one pager that simplifies the process. No reservations. First come, first served. Even as a table of two they don’t sit you until your full party arrives.
So I sat at the bar to wait for my friend. Whilst initially quickly welcomed at the door, it took some time for the bartenders to engage. They open at 6pm, I was here at 6.30pm, so it was not like it was mad busy. Luckily watching the open plan kitchen and enjoying the aroma of bbq food kept me busy. Also note, mobile signals are intermittent in this spot – so ensure whoever you are meeting has good directions.
The main courses are served on metal trays. Choose your grilled and smoked meets cooked over charcoal and it comes with a salad, grilled pita, spicy salsa, green pepper and cumin salt. The meat filled menu which includes delights such as smoked pork belly, short rib and home made sucuk sausages. Sides and starters with an eastern influence. I went for hand pulled lamb mechoui and Jacki opted for the harissa hot wings. We shared a s side of urfa roasted pumpkin with green harissa, yoghurt and pecan.
The food is quick and wholesome. The vibe is pretty chilled, even when it gets busy. It has a warmth about it, especially when its cold outside. The bar does a good selection of unique cocktail infusions as well as offering the classics (I had a dirty martini). If you live local, it is definitely worth a visit. In fact, even if you don’t, the overground gets you to this spot with ease so make the commute.
Berber & Q
Arch 338 Acton Mews
London E8 4EA
T. 020 7923 0829